v15: This verse starts off as Joel 2v1 did. It reveals to us that what took place in the first half of chapter 2 had a purpose and produced an outcome.
Note: In the first half of chapter 2 we saw a powerful army rise up, which brought about hardship and destruction. Despite the difficulties, Israel was positioned to seek G-d’s assistance, to cry out for help. The hardships softened up the people spiritually.
v16: Congregation: This word speaks of a group of people.
· Elders: The old ones.
· The children and nursing babes – this was a very inclusive call that everyone needed to participate in.
· Let the bridegroom go out: This is a call for urgency. It shows that there needs to be a change, an interruption, to the normal order of things.
v17: Priests: The mediators between G-d and man. Their responsibility and call is to influence the people spiritually – so that they would be right before G-d.
· Weep: The priests weep because they understand how inadequate they. They are unable to change people. Only G-d can change people.
· The porch: The place where the priests would prepare for service.
· The altar: The place where the offerings would be given to G-d.
· Spare: Have pity.
v18: Zealous for His land: This stands out in the text. It has been talking about the spiritual condition of the people, however, when things get down to the foundational level, the land is referred to. The land of Israel is inherently tied (connected) to the spiritual condition of the people (Example: when the people are not worshipping G-d the land becomes desolate. When the people get right with the L-rd the land goes through a transformation)
v19: His people: G-d’s covenant with Israel has eternal ramifications.
· I will send you: A change/transformation comes about because of repentance. (Jer 30v7 -the people are going to suffer in the last days, but because of this it causes them to get serious about G-d)
· Send you grain, new wine, and oil – when G-d judged He removed these three things and the people suffered. When G-d wanted to bless He restored these three things.
· No longer make you a reproach – they will no longer be humiliated before the nations.
Note: Israel transitioning from disgrace to glory is a last day phenomena.
v20: Most scholars believe that a northern army will try to destroy the Jewish people, and take control of Jerusalem, in the last days.
· Face – speaks of the very essence of someone.
· His stench: A word often related to decay/death. Their enemy will be put to death. The enemy had exalted himself by believing that he could destroy the apple of G-d’s eye – Israel (2 Thess 2v3-4, Dan 11v36)
v21: The enemy did monstrous things (v20), but G-d will do marvellous things!
v22: Repentance causes the desolate land (scorched by fire) to become a glorious and fruitful land.
v23: Rain is usually thought of, in the Scripture, as a blessing. G-d’s blessings in our lives are a source of revelation. They teach us righteousness.
· All of this blessing (both the former and the latter rain – abundance of rain) is going to fall for the people in the first month.
· The first month (Aviv/Nisan) should remind us of redemption or Passover – Ex 12v2. This first month was the foundation for the months that were to follow. Redemption is the foundation that the people are going to be able to stand upon.
v24: The storehouses will be filled up (to overflowing!) with grain, wine, and oil. Repentance produces fruitfulness in our lives.
v25: G-d’s going to bring about a restoration.
v26: G-d is bringing about all of this change. There’s only one reason why He’s doing so – because of the power of a covenantal relationship (Deut 8v10)
v27: G-d emphasises where He is – through the work of redemption G-d is in the midst of Israel, His people. This is a description of a Kingdom reality.
· My people shall never be put to shame – repeated (v26), therefore emphasised. There are only two places people will find themselves in – everlasting life, or everlasting shame (Dan 12v2)