Saturday, March 4, 2023

Blow The Trumpet in Zion!”

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

The prophecy of Joel in the Book that bears his name is surely hand-in-glove with the end-times studies we embarked on several weeks ago. As with most of God’s prophecies, there is the near fulfillment, and a yet future fulfillment of His Word. The near, or soon fulfillment is in place to let the nation of Israel know that the prophet speaking is a true prophet. The secondary, or future fulfillment is to let the Church and the whole world know that the God of Israel is truly God, and that Jesus His Son has been given full authority over all things (Colossians 1:12-19).

There are parts of both the near, and the future in this chapter, as we shall see. It’s a fitting time to review His teachings on the end-times because so much that we read and hear in the media is exactly what the Lord wants us to see as prophetic fulfillment, encouraging His people to turn to Him. We read in the New Testament that the Lord does not want His believers to be ignorant, so these prophecies are vitally important, especially as we see their fulfillment for the second time.

The words of God’s prophecies are not vague, but quite the opposite. They are direct and clear to those in whom His Spirit lives. If we have placed our trust in Jesus Christ and trust also in His Word, then we shall know what God has spoken to His people since the beginning, and we shall know what He is saying to us today.

For believers, God’s prophecies represent the worst of times, and the best of times: the worst of times because there is so much iniquity and unbelief in our world today, and believers know what awaits those that reject our Lord Jesus. It is the best of times because believers know what awaits us. It is the fulfillment of His glorious promises, and an eternal inheritance for us.

This bitter-sweetness is often difficult because we can see friends and family that embrace this world, knowing all the while that they might well miss a glorious future in heaven. BUT! Take heart dear ones, it is not up to us to save anyone. We are told to share what we know of Jesus and His promises, that’s all. It is the work of Christ and His Holy Spirit to make believers of them. It is up to Him to bring all whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life into a glorious future with Him!
“I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”  1 Corinthians 3:6

Sunday's Audio Teaching
Joel 2:1-32 - "Blow The Trumpet In Zion!"


The book of Joel gives some of the most striking and specific details in all of Scripture about the day of the Lord—days cloaked in darkness, armies that conquer like consuming fire, and the moon turning to blood. Rooted in such vibrant and physical imagery, this time of ultimate judgment, still future for us today (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10), makes clear the seriousness of God’s judgment on sin.

The day of the Lord, which is a reference not to a single day only but to a period of judgment and restoration, consists of three basic features: The judgment of God's people; The judgment of foreign nations; The purification and restoration of God's people through intense suffering (Joel 2:1-11; 2:28-32; 3:1-16).

This is a sounding of the alarm... A WARNING, and a call to repentance. Joel is prophesying of the devastation to the land of Israel as armies from other nations came against them, but also to the future as he foretells of the day of the Lord, which is a reference to God's wrath being poured out upon this world, and unbelieving Israel. The description is detailed and frightening. This would be a horrific chapter if it were not for the promise of hope.

Besides being a time of judgment, it will also be a time of salvation as God will deliver the remnant of Israel, fulfilling His promise that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), forgiving their sins and restoring His chosen people to the land He promised to Abraham (Isaiah 10:27Jeremiah 30:19-31, 40; Micah 4Zechariah 13). The final outcome of the day of the Lord will be that “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:17). The ultimate or final fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the day of the Lord will come at the end of history when God, with wondrous power, will punish evil and fulfill all His promises.

Once again, God gives fair warning but also calls the people to repent and return to Him. 

The Lord is still jealous for His people and His land, and we can be sure that He will keep His covenant with Israel.

The coming Day of the Lord of which Joel speaks is not to be feared by believers, but it should be feared by the nations who are the enemies of God, and the enemies of His people.

The chapter ends with Joels reminder of God's promises, and that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. (Joel 2:32)

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