3. Joel prophesies that the day of the Lord is near.
Is he referring to the final judgment or the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and most of the Jews?
He says it will look like this:
- Famine–“Our food disappears before our eyes.” NLT
- No crops
- No grapes or vineyards
- No figs or fig trees
- No grain
- No olive oil
- No pomegranate trees, no date palm trees, and no apple trees
- The land is desolate.
- The fields are ruined.
- The land is stripped bare.
- The streams dried up.
- The seeds die in the parched ground.
- Fire consumes the pastures and trees.
- The people and animals mourn and groan.
- No joyful celebrations in the temple
- Everyone trembles.
- Faces grow pale with terror.
- Unstoppable Invasion
- Burning everything
- Earthquakes and darkness
4. I believe this prophecy depicts a succession of invading armies.
It may relate to the empires also mentioned in the dream Daniel described for King Nebuchadnezzar.
The promised land belonged to God. After Israel’s continued rejection of God, His judges, His prophets, and His own Son, He would remove them from the land.
From Matthew 21:33-42 Parable of the evil farmers/landowners/tenants–
The Pharisees themselves predicted the destruction of Israel and the coming church age led by the Gentiles.
The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”
Then Jesus asked them,“Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’ NLT
5. I have never experienced desolation like Joel describes.
No one has before or since witnessed such a catastrophic calamity.
In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Joel 1:2 NLT
Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again. Joel 2:2 NLT
Joel’s description sounds like the destruction of Israel as a nation, destruction of the temple, and most of the Jewish population.
Josephus, the Jewish historian who himself was imprisoned by Romans during that time, wrote…
If the misfortunes of all nations, from the beginning of the world, were compared with those which befell the Jews, they would appear far less in comparison…No other city ever suffered such things, as no other generation, from the beginning of the world, was even more fruitful in wickedness.
The list of atrocities is horrendous. If the days had not been shortened, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:22, no one would survive.
A situation in my life that left me feeling emotionally devastated was the passing of my mother when I was a teenager.
This was not the result of God’s judgment on me or my mother. Not that we were perfect, but we loved God and served God as selflessly as we knew how.
God is patient and long-suffering. Slow to anger.
My response to that situation isn’t relevant to the devastation prophesied in Joel.
Some things we just don’t understand. I don’t know why my mom did not live a long life on earth. It wasn’t because she lived a rebellious life. And it wasn’t because she didn’t love and trust God.
I do know she has eternal life in Paradise with no more suffering.