6. a. God calls Judah to repentance.
In Joel 2, it is clear God longs for reconciliation.
Judgment was necessary so His Bride could grow and flourish. The Jews killed His Son and zealots like Paul were killing Jesus’ followers.
Psalm 37:28 For the Lord delights in justice, And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones);
They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off. AMP
b. I am not subject to God’s judgment.
I’m not on the side of those who killed and rejected God’s Son.
John 3:16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. AMP
1 John 5:13 “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” NLT
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” NLT
John 17:3 “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” NLT
Everyone in Christ is free from God’s wrath. He inaugurates the New Covenant, bought and paid for with his precious blood.*
Romans 5:8-9 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” NLT
These next verses from 1 Thessalonians also say Christ is the answer. The church as a body is not subjected to the wrath of God in Final Judgment. Rather, Christ paid for our sins. Therefore, he welcomes all of us into his eternal realm with open arms of love.*
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath [orgê]. (1 Thess. 1:9-10)
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath [orgê] but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:9)
As a whole, the church universal – everyone found in Christ – will not be on the receiving end of God’s wrath in the Last Judgment.*
7. a. In verses 12-17, God tells His people it’s not too late.
- Return to me with all your heart.
- Come fasting, weeping, and mourning until our broken fellowship is restored.
- Tear your hearts instead of your clothes.
- Blow a shofar to announce pending judgment.
- Declare a day of repentance and fasting.
- Gather everyone together.
- Let the priests, who minister in the Lord’s presence, stand and weep.
- Have them intercede for the people.
b. God is the one and only real God.
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
always ready to cancel catastrophe.
- He is gracious and compassionate.
- He is slow to anger.
- He abounds in loving-kindness.
- He relents when His people repent.
- He had pity on His people.
- He doesn’t want them to be afraid.
- He wants to prosper and protect them.
- He wants to restore what they lost.
- He wants to refresh and nourish them.
- He doesn’t want them to be ashamed or disgraced.
Even on pagan Sodom, Gomorrah, and Nineveh, God looked for a glimmer of hope. He even sent Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh. They listened and repented, averting their destruction.
8. The Lord promises deliverance and restoration.
The Lord responds to repentance by restoring everything that was lost.
9. God’s message is always, “Come to Me” or “Return to Me.”
Satan is the evangelist of evil. When evil spreads, it wrecks and corrupts lives. There comes a point where to protect the innocent, God must wipe out evil.
In the end, the evil will be judged. But again, I don’t think this passage is about the end.
*An excellent study on the subject of The Wrath of God – Old Covenant vs New Covenant