A Great and Terrible Day

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.   (Joel 2:1-2)

These verses declare a great and terrible day is coming and that the alarm should be sounded and everyone should know about it. This passage of Scripture, in its context, was written to the nation of Israel and it declared God’s contention with His own professing people for their sins and it executes upon them the judgment that was written in the law. The general idea is one of a great day of battle.

This passage of Scripture also pictures a coming day in which the Lord comes in righteous judgment, His wrath is fierce, in holiness He will set things right. He will not strive with men forever but will put an end to iniquity and sins. No one can escape the day of God’s judgment.

But in this passage we see also a merciful call to repentance, O thank you Lord! With all our hearts we shall turn back to God, with fasting, with tears, earnestly and honestly humbling ourselves before Him.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? (Joel 2:12-14)

We see in this chapter that deliverance follows repentance, God will do great things(v.21). God rebukes the very army of invaders that he allowed to come and devour the land and people. There will come turmoil and difficulty before the great and terrible day of the Lord. And all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. A remnant shall return, God will do great things!.

I believe we live in an hour such as Israel lived when Joel wrote his prophecy. Just like then,  it is again a time to blow the trumpet and humble ourselves, a time to gather together young and old and let all other interests be set aside and cry out to the Lord. He will be jealous for His land and pity His people. God is near to those of a broken heart and a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18). He revives the humble and contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15).