Have you ever witnessed a swarming army of locusts? In 1869, locusts from the deserts of West Africa made its way to England covering an astonishing span of 2,000 miles. This army of locusts ravished every green herb on its path. A similar or worse event must have taken place during the time of the prophet Joel. How devastatingly barren the land must have been!
Joel, whose name means “The Lord is God,” prophesied during the aftermath of the locust invasion. It foreshadowed the coming of a might army that was to invade Judah and destroy its beloved city, Jerusalem, during the great day of the Lord (Joel 2:1-11). Joel warned the people and called them to repent before God (Joel 1:1-20).
The phrase, “great day of the Lord,” is used by the prophet to refer to both a near and future fulfillment. The first points to the Babylonian invasion which has been fulfilled as prophesied by Joel. Like the army of locusts, the Babylonians was used by God to discipline His people, Judah. In pronouncing judgment, God’s desire was for His people to repent or turn away from their sins. What a gracious God! In spite of the people’s willful violation of their covenant with Him, He still called for them to return to Him (Joel 2:12-17). In fact, He promised them a future deliverance and the outpouring of His Spirit (Joel 2:18-32). He also declared judgment against the nations, making evident His sovereignty over all the world (Joel 3:1-17). Joel concludes with a future blessing upon Judah (3:18-21).
The future fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy points to a day when, after God takes His children home, His wrath will be outpoured. The world will witness God’s righteous judgment and it will terrible. Praise the Lord that He is merciful, not willing that any should perish! Now, therefore, is the time to repent and come to the Lord. Why suffer God’s wrath in that terrible day when right now, He offers you freely His gift of salvation? His own Son Jesus Christ shed His blood for you, paying in full the debt of your sin. See John 3:16; 14:6; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; 10: 9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5.
My friend, God’s desire is not for you to go through judgment but for you to have a relationship with Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 20:11-15). I urge you, therefore, to repent and come to the Lord.