Today you should read: Joel 2
We all have days that we look forward to. Life is filled with many milestones:
• The first day of kindergarten
• The first day of an athletic/extracurricular practice or the first game/performance
• The first day of high school
• Your 16th birthday (sweet sixteen)
• The day you get your drivers license
• The first day of college
• Your wedding day
We could go on and on! These are the days that seem to define our lives. Joel 2 talks about a day that the world will remember forever. For those who know Jesus, this will be a great day. But for those not found in Christ, it will be a day of utter devastation, judgment, and wrath.
The LORD utters his voice before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
who can endure it? (Joel 2:11 ESV)
I read a good summary of this day in one of my commentaries earlier in the week. It may be helpful for you as well, especially since it is not only common in Joel but in all the minor prophets. Check it out:
1. Day of the Lord. This is the major theme of Joel. The exact expression, yom yhwh (Hb., “day of the Lord”), is found five times in Joel (1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14) and 13 times in seven other prophetic books (Isa. 13:6, 9; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 13:5; 30:3; Amos 5:18–20; Obad. 15; Zeph. 1:7, 14; Mal. 4:5; see note on Amos 5:18–20). Other ways of referring to the “day” found throughout prophetic literature (e.g., “a day,” “those days,” “that day”) are used by Joel as well (Joel 2:2; 3:1, 18). Within Joel, the “day” refers not only to a final day of judgment upon the nations (3:2) but also to God’s ongoing judgment of Israel, both past and future (1:15; 2:2, 11), and instances of his intervention between Israel and the nations (3:1–2, 12, 14, 16). In each case, the “day of the Lord” indicates a time when the presence of the Lord brings judgment and/or deliverance and blessing, depending on the circumstances (see note on 1:15). Therefore, although the “day” heralds destruction for the nations, it also functions as a time of salvation for God’s people; the Lord remains a refuge amid the chaos of judgment (3:15–16).
My favorite part of today’s reading came at the end: the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise has come to fruition for us today! If you have a relationship with the Lord, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. The Spirit convicts you of sin, encourages you when you’re down, gives you holy instruction, and so much more. What an awesome promise for us to embrace!
And this wasn’t the only promise God gave in the passage. The Lord also promised to allow His people to return to Him. When they return, He will restore. When He restores, they will never be shamed again:
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame. (Joel 2:27 ESV)
All of the days we listed earlier are important, special days in our lives. But none of them matter if there’s never been a day when you crossed from death to life. Do you know Jesus? Have you found life in Him? Make sure that the day you trust in Christ is highest on your list. It’s the only milestone day that carries into eternity.
Posted by: Todd Thomas