by Henry T. Vriesen
At a time of a plague of locusts and a severe drought, probably about 400 B.C., Joel the son of Pethuel arose and called his people to repentance. In the midst of severe affliction we see the sublime faith of this prophet of God. He assures his countrymen of God’s lovingkindness and fills their hearts with hope for the future. “Hear this, ye old men,” thus spake Joel, “and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten … The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth … The herds of cattle are perplexed … the flocks of sheep are made desolate.”
“Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar … Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly; and cry unto the Lord. Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand … Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things … The floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil … 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. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God.”
“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, and your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. 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.”For further information on this resource, click here.