JOEL: THE JUDGMENTS OF THE DAY OF THE LORD
III: God's Promised Deliverance At Israel's Repentance
A. "The Day of the Lord," a term used of the time when God administers judgment on sin and deliverance for His people can be applied to an event in Israel's past history as well as to end-time events that are yet to occur.
B. Joel's prophecies, written likely when young King Joash ruled under the regency of priests (835-796 B. C.), deal with both uses of this term, the existence of a locust plague in Joel's era that also prefigured a military invasion in the Great Tribulation. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1258, "Introduction to the Book of Joel")
C. We view God's promised deliverance at Israel's repentance for the judgments of both the locust plague and the invading army as presented in Joel 2:18-27 for our insight and application (as follows):
II. God's Promised Deliverance At Israel's Repentance, Joel 2:18-27 NIV.
A. The Mosaic Covenant provided that if Israel violated God's Law, He would punish her in various ways, including destruction by locusts (Deuteronomy 28:42) and/or by an invading army (Deuteronomy 28:49-51).
B. Where Joel 1:1-20 reported on God's judgment in Joel's day by locusts (Ibid., ftn. to Joel 1:4), Joel 2:1-17 predicted His judgment by an invading army in the end time "Day of the Lord" (Ibid., ftn. to Joel 2:1-11).
C. Consequently, Joel 2:18-27 presented God's promised deliverance for Israel's repentance at both the locust plague in Joel's era and the invading army in the end-time (as follows):
1. Following Israel's genuine repentance as described in Joel 2:12-17, God promised to show mercy for His people and express His jealousy for the welfare of His land on which His people dwelt, Joel 2:18.
2. God promised to send His people grain, new wine and olive oil to satisfy them fully from what the locust plague and the end-time invading army had or will have destroyed, Joel 2:19a.
3. Never again [after the end-time invasion] would God make His people the scorn of the nations, Joel 2:19b.
4. The northern army that will have invaded Israel in the Great Tribulation (cf. Daniel 11:40) will be driven by God into the desert, its front columns going into the eastern or Dead Sea and its rear columns into the western or Mediterranean Sea, and the stench of the dead corpses would rise up, Joel 2:20a NIV. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1419; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Joel 2:20)
5. The reason God will cause this stench to arise will be to exalt Himself in having done a great thing in destroying this overwhelming invading force, Joel 2:20b.
6. God through His prophet Joel called the land not to be afraid, but to be glad and rejoice, for the Lord will have done great things for it, Joel 2:21.
7. The wild animals are admonished not to be afraid, either, for the open pastures will become green, the trees will bear their fruit and the fig tree and the vine will yield their agricultural wealth, Joel 2:22.
8. God's people in Zion are urged to rejoice in the Lord their God, for He will have given them the early autumn rains in righteousness, sending abundant showers in autumn and the latter spring rains as in past days of divine blessing, Joel 2:23.
9. The threshing floors will again be filled with grain, the vats will overflow with new wine and olive oil as God will have restored to Israel what all the various kinds of locusts and the end-time invading army either had or will have destroyed, Joel 2:24-25.
10. Israel's people will have plenty to eat and they will praise the Name of the Lord their God Who will have worked wonders for them, and never again [at the end-time] will God's people be shamed, Joel 2:26 NIV.
11. Ultimately, God's people would know that He was in Israel, that He was the Lord their God, and that there was no other God but Him, Joel 2:27a.
12. Indeed, for the third time in this section, God added that His people would never again be shamed due to His discipline by an end-time invading, destructive human army, Joel 2:27b.
Lesson: Whether by a severe locust plague in Joel's day or by an invading human army in the end-time, when God's people repent of their waywardness from the Lord, He will destroy the destroyers and replenish their land from the destruction by the invaders. God's goal is eventually never again to have to shame His people Israel by leveling His punishment upon them and their land for sin.
Application: If God timelessly punishes His people for sin (via locusts or an end-time army) as well as timelessly richly blesses them if they repent, may we repent if needed and stay upright to escape future shameful punishment.