Morning Light – Joel 02

Today: [Joel 2] Blow the Trumpet for a Great Outpouring. In Joel 2 the prophet declares the coming of an army greater than anything man could ever muster. It is not the army of the enemy, but the army of God that lays hold of and experiences fullness in God and an outpouring of His Spirit greater than anything known in human history. The amazing thing is that this outpouring was declared by Peter to have been initiated at Pentecost 2000 years ago and therefore is ours today if we will just seek out and appropriate it by faith to our own benefit and the benefit of others!

[Joe 2:1-32 KJV] 1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations. 3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. 4 The appearance of them [is] as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. 5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: 8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp [is] very great: for [he is] strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; and who can abide it? 12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth [if] he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; [even] a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

Chapter one of Joel calls upon the people to awaken to the spiritual causes of natural problems that have descended upon the nation in the form of a great plague of locusts. Rabbinical traditions hold that the plague in Joel’s day was surpassed in magnitude only by the plague of locusts that befell Egypt when Moses was bringing the people out of bondage. Chapter 2 of Joel begins with an explosive call to sound the trumpet. There were two reasons trumpets were sounded in Judah under the law of Moses. One reason was to announce feast days and the gathering of the people. The other as is the reason in this case was a call to war. When Joel looked out on the nation as he prophesied, he saw the people as ease and at their leisure when they should have been trembling and coming to the alert because, as Joel puts it – the day of the Lord is at hand.

This reference to the “day of the Lord” in this passage is the 7th instance of 25 citations of the phrase throughout scripture. Generally, the day of the Lord is a term speaking to climactic events, often judgmental in nature and apocalyptic in character. When we think of the day of the Lord we do so in the knowledge that our little lives are not lived out on some inconsequential or random trajectory of human experience. We are, even in our insignificance, part of a broad historical tapestry of human affairs, lived out under the scepter of God’s sovereign dealings with mankind. To the godless and the casual (v. 2) it is a day of darkness and gloom. For the believer, however it is a day of clouds, (we are those clouds); thick darkness (1 Kings 8:12 – the Lord dwells in thick darkness) as MORNING SPREAD ON THE MOUNTAINS. Therefore, we may look at what we see coming on the world scene with sobriety, but not with despair because we are living as the hymn penned by Johnson Oatman, Jr. in 1898 we are “living on the hallelujah” side of things not on the doom and gloom side of things. That is why this chapter so dark with foreboding is the very chapter that St. Peter used to proof text the most jubilant day in the history of man when the Spirit fell on the 120 on the day of Pentecost.

Verse 2 speaks of a great people and a strong. The unbeliever may look at this as an army of destruction but you and I look on them as the army conscripted at Pentecost. A fire devours before them. They will be riding horses or be in chariots. They will not thrust one another and every one will walk in his appointed path. This speaks of a people raised up by God who will war against the enemy and not each other. It is time to call to war with the trumpet of God those who will no longer fight among themselves but fight and war together against the enemy of our souls and the anti-Christ objectives in the tableau of human events. We are to be that army who will NOT BREAK ranks but will breach the walls of resistance to the gospel and bring down the strongholds of the enemy holding men bound in sin.

The Lord will utter His voice before this army, identified for us not as Satan’s forces but in v. 11 they will be GOD’S ARMY for His camp is very great. The sun and the moon will be darkened and the stars will withdraw their shining – by comparison to this great host that Peter declares in Acts 2 to be the host of the redeemed, saved from sin, baptized in the Holy Spirit and moving in God’s power to as Daniel put it take the kingdom!
[Dan 7:18, 22, 27 KJV] 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. … 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. … 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where [is] their God? 18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: 20 But I will remove far off from you the northern [army], and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. 21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. 22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month]. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I [am] in the midst of Israel, and [that] I [am] the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

In verse 15 the command is repeated to blow the trumpet – specifically to blow the trumpet IN ZION. Zion is the location where the kings in the line of David built their palaces. This is a call not just to common folks, for you are more than common in Christ. You are kings and priests unto your God and this trumpet is calling you up to your destiny as a principality and a power in the earth – led by the King of kings and Lord of lords, King Jesus Himself. The cry of the intercessor in this season (v. 17) is that the people would be spared and no more be given to the reproach of the heathen who rule over them. When THIS army – this great Pentecostal army rises up the response of God is “then will the Lord be jealous for HIS land and pity HIS people. As result He will send:
Corn (prosperity and wealth)
Wine (joy of the Holy Ghost)
Oil (anointing, empowering you for service!)
The result of which – you will be satisfied and be held in repute even among the heathen who cannot deny the favor of God that so rests upon your life. Why? Because (v. 20) the northern army (the armies of Assyria [anti-Christ] and Babylon [religious confusion]) are removed far from you – because GOD had DONE GREAT THINGS in your midst!

So while this is a prophecy of apocalyptic gloom upon the godless and the heathen, it is a call for the children of God (you and I) to:
Fear not!
Be glad!
Because God is doing great things in our midst. Notice the all-encompassing yielding of God’s blessing when v. 22 says that the fig tree (natural Isarel) and the vine (the Church) will yield their strength and bring forth. For this reason, the children of Zion (the people of God – kings and priests in the earth) can rejoice because God has given us the former and the latter rain in the first month. The former rain and the latter rain are many things, encompassed in the outpouring of OLD TESTAMENT power and NEW TESTAMENT grace in one climactic outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Then comes the fullness of wine and oil and the restoration of all that the gnawing, swarming, licking and devouring work of the enemy has taken from us. Whether we understand just how God will restore us and how we will see the recompense of every battle we believe what the promise of God is – that we are taking back in His name and by His grace all that the enemy dared to put His hand on in our lives or the lives of our loved ones. We will eat is plenty – of the HIDDEN MANNA the BREAD of LIFE that Jesus is to us and we will be SATISFIED. Are you satisfied? There is satisfaction in this promise of God that according to Peter was poured out to us all that this chapter promises on the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago – a great outpouring (v. 28) of God’s Spirit upon ALL flesh in prophecy and dreams and vision as God pours out the fullness of His Spirit upon those servant minded men and women in what is a great and terrible day for the ungodly but a day of deliverance upon the remnant and upon whomever the Lord shall call.

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