Joel is thought to be one of the oldest books of prophecy in the Old Testament possibly dating back to the 700s BC. And yet it has one of the most powerful and amazing prophecies in all of Scripture. In a time when there was great upheaval in the nation of Israel, when the north was being separated from south, God spoke!
The Day of the Lord was coming. God’s judgment was coming. But also God’s Grace. Chapter One talks of a plague or an army that has trampled through the nation of Israel that caused famine and devastation which God uses to call them to repent. However, chapter two shouts of God’s amazing grace and redemption. They would have to wait 800 years for this to be fulfilled, but God has a plan. A plan for men and women to meet God in all his fulness and to be filled with God’s Spirit. The picture of salvation in Joel’s day was obedience to the laws of God who in the past had saved their people and in return given a blessing of successful crops and sacramental worship. This new idea of salvation was personal. It was intimate. It was for everyone.
Whilst in reality, this is God’s plan all along, it is revealed here in Joel for the first time. We understand this chapter with New Testament eyes, seeing Acts being prophesied, but it is an incredible passage of prophesy.
As we call upon the name of the Lord, we will be saved. And this salvation means we will prophesy (speak the words God wants us to speak). We will dream dreams of what God can do. We will see visions of what we can achieve if we call upon the name of the Lord and seek his face day after day with our whole hearts. This seems particularly appropriate to GWAC as we discern God’s plan for us over the next 5 years.
The other part of this is it is not just for those who serve in the temple. It is not just for the religious leaders. It is not just for the elders. It is for your sons and daughters. For your old men and women. It is for the youth. Even your servants. It is for children. (See 2:16 Bring the elders and children). How important is it to make sure our children have gathered with us to hear of God’s mercy and love. Shout out to how important kid’s ministry is in our church.
We may feel we are unable, unloved, ungifted. But it is God’s Spirit poured onto us to make all that we dream possible. We may feel sinful, unworthy but God is slow to anger (2:13), His grace is for everyone.
Seek God with your heart. Use your time to study God’s word, to pray and to listen to God and then be obedient and God’s spirit will enable you to see through those things he has put on your heart. As we commit to a new 5-year plan, commit yourself to God to being a part of the new thing God is doing through his Spirit.