In verses 30 and 31, the tone changes. Joel picks up the theme of judgement again. He had begun announcing God's impending judgment, the day of the LORD. And Joel returns to this message. We read, "And I will shew 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
the terrible day of the LORD come."
Again, he describes God's impending judgment in dark,
poignant tones. It is a judgment of cosmic and universal proportions.
But notice how Joel speaks of these terrible signs in heaven as
appearing "before the day of the Lord comes." After all, the judgment
is already there. It is already there in the plague of locusts and the
drought. The signs Joel describes are already there now. But it will
get worse and culminate in the final judgment, the Day of the Lord.
But let's pay attention to the order of events in Joel's
prophecies. First, the coming of the “Teacher of Righteousness”.
Then the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And then the signs that
precede the great and terrible day of the Lord. With the coming of the
Holy Spirit, the last dispensation, the end time, has arrived. Peter
refers to the words of Joel on the great day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.
From then on, history is dominated by Christ's second coming on the
clouds of heaven. The great day of judgment. The book of Revelation
gives us a more detailed view of the end times in which we live. And
there we read about the same signs. However, it is remarkable and
comforting to read what God’s first priority is in these end times.
When the first seal of the scroll containing God’s plan for the end
time is opened, we read, “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and
he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and
he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” The end-time is primarily
about the preaching of the gospel. And many will be added to the
number that will be saved.
Do we see God's hand at work in what is happening around
us? We hear the approaching footsteps of the Lord all around us. He
is coming! Therefore, let us prepare ourselves. Listen to the words of
the "Teacher of righteousness." Believe in Him and ask the Holy
Spirit to initiate and enlighten us.
Rev. J. Th. Pronk