30 Dec. Joel 2:1-11

30 Dec. Joel foresees the ‘Day of the LORD’

“Blow the [war] trumpet in Jerusalem; shout a warning on my holy mountain. Let all the people who live in the land shake with fear, because the LORD’s day of judging is coming; it is near.”

“It will be a dark, gloomy day, cloudy and black. Like the light at sunrise, a great and powerful army will spread over the mountains. There has never been anything like it before, and there will never be anything like it again.”

“In front of them a fire destroys; behind them a flame burns. The land in front of them is like the garden of Eden; the land behind them is like an empty desert. Nothing will escape them.”

“They look like horses, and they run like war horses. It is like the noise of chariots rumbling over the tops of the mountains, like the noise of a roaring fire burning dry stalks.”

“They are like a powerful army lined up for battle. When they see them, nations shake with fear, and everyone’s face becomes pale. They charge like soldiers; they climb over the wall like warriors. They all march straight ahead and do not move off their path. They do not run into each other, because each walks in line.”

“They break through all efforts to stop them and keep coming. They run into the city. They run at the wall and climb into the houses, entering through windows like thieves. Before them, earth and sky shake. The sun and the moon become dark, and the stars stop shining.”

“The LORD shouts out orders to his army. His army is very large! Those who obey him are very strong! The LORD’s day of judging is an overwhelming and terrible day. No one can stand up against it!"

          (Joel 2:1-11)

 

 

The Book of Joel was written during the 5th or 4th century BC shortly after the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon. Joel foretold a drought and a plague of locusts in Israel - signs of the ‘Day of the LORD’, when those who had mistreated God’s chosen people would be punished.

In the opening chapter, Joel prophesied that locusts would destroy the grapevines and the grain crops of those who had returned to Judah: "The fields are ruined; the ground is dried up. The grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, and the olive oil runs out... The vines have become dry, and the fig trees are dried up." (Joel 1:10-12)

In today’s passage, Joel sees this plague of locusts as a sign of the coming of the ‘Day of the LORD’. He calls on the people to repent with fasting and mourning: "Blow the trumpet in Jerusalem; shout a warning on my holy mountain. Let all the people who live in the land shake with fear, because the LORD's day of judging is coming; it is near." (Joel 2:1)

Later in Chapter 2, Joel urges the people of Judah to repent and return to the LORD: "The LORD says, 'Even now, come back to me with all your heart. Go without food, and cry and be sad...' Come back to the LORD your God, because he is kind and shows mercy." (Joel 2:12-13)

The photo (by slgckgc) shows a ram’s horn trumpet (a ‘shofar’) being blown at the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah.

You can read more about the Book of Joel @ The Bible Journey | Introduction to the Book of Joel


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