Blow the Trumpet in Zion
On the previous page it was suggested that verses 12-14 include a message of repentance for God's army to give to the world. Joel now goes on to emphasize the need to give this message urgently in light of a coming event, the coming of the bridegroom or the Second Coming.
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet." (Joel 2:15-16)
What day is this referring to? Among the feasts, that are also called assemblies, one is designated as a fast - the Day of Atonement. In this whole situation, my understanding is that the bridegroom is Jesus, the bride is the 144,000 and the guests at the wedding are the great multitude, those saved in response to the giving of the last message by God's army, the 144,000. All ages are included in this gathering from nursing babies to the elderly.
"Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?" (Joel 2:17)
The priesthood is made up of those ministers of the Lord. In the time of the last days this would be God's army the 144,000.
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)
In Peter's understanding and that of other New Testament writers, he was living in anticipation of his Lord's soon Second Coming. This can be seen even in Peter's quoting of Joel:
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days ..." (Acts 2:16-17)
Evidently, he saw the believers of that time as the priesthood, replacing the previous Levitical priesthood. (see also 1 Peter 2:9, Hebrews 7:12, Revelation 1:6, 5:10)
The days ahead will be troublous times. This prophecy points to a time when God's people will need:
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:7-8)
The phrase "... when the Son of man cometh ..." indicates an end-time context.
The Whole Earth is His
"Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people." (Joel 2:18)
Some people take this to mean the Holy Land and the Jewish people but when we consider it in an end-time context it would include the whole earth and all of His loyal people of whatever ethnicity. For more on the question of the distinction of the Jewish people see this study.
"And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD'S." (Ex 9:29)
In a sense we all, good and bad alike, are God's people which is why He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (verse 28).
No Longer a Reproach
"Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:" (Joel 2:19)
The promise is that his people will be no longer a reproach but will be, at least by some, esteemed. Jesus' promise (if you could call it that) to all His followers was that "they will also persecute you." (John 15:20) However, the point will come where many will recognize that God's people have the truth and will seek them for it.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a (spiritual) Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." (Zech 8:23)
Doing Great Things
"But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things." (Joel 2:20)
"The northern army" may represent spiritual or end-time Babylon who will oppress God's people. "He hath done great things"(the margin says "he hath magnified to do") sounds like Babylon.
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all." (Dan 11:36-37)
"Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength." (Joel 2:21-22)
In the end, it will be the Lord who does truly "great things." This passage may, in some way, relate back to verse 3 which says "the land is as the garden of Eden before them." Trees are a symbol of leaders of the people as opposed to grass, the people. The fig tree and vine are symbols of prosperity and peace.The last days will be a time of intense activity and critical decisions. The next page gives Joel's description of the latter rain that will be poured out in preparation for that time.
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