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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Joel's Army, continued
They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. (Joel 2:9—NIV)
When the Lord returns the saints that accompany Him will fan out through the earth. They will judge each person and situation they encounter. Evil will flee from before them because of the fire of God that accompanies them. Sinners will scream in terror and seek to hide. But the Spirit of God will enable them to locate each person and either spare that person or slay him just as Ananias and Sapphira were slain by the Spirit of God in Peter.
There will be no compromise. The soldiers of the Lord cannot be threatened, frightened, or bribed in any manner. They are dead, yet they live in bodies like that of the Lord.
The land is as Eden before them but it is a man-made paradise. Behind them will be a smoking ruin as all the works of the flesh are burned away.
When they are finished the Divine curse will be lifted from the earth. Then all nature will come to life with singing and rejoicing just as green grass soon appears in a burned-over field. Gone will be the spirit of evil from the earth. In its place will be the Glory of Jesus Christ and the righteousness that always accompanies that glory.
For the first time in history self-seeking, devious man will not be able to worm his way out of the consequences of his actions. All that is not founded on integrity will be shaken and removed. Thank God forever!
Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:10—NIV)
The above verse is one reason we know we are speaking of something more than a plague of locusts. Locusts cannot shake the earth or the sky. Yet, whenever the coming of the Lord is described the great signs on earth and in the heavens are mentioned.
Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. (Isaiah 13:9-11—NASB)
The above passage contains several ideas that are found in Joel. One could maintain that such descriptions are merely Hebrew poetic license. Yes, I suppose such a position could be advanced. On the other hand, one must admit that the text of the passages provides a reasonable basis for our belief that the terrifying advent of Christ is being discussed in both Joel and Isaiah.
Grasshoppers can be destructive but they do not shake the earth or the sky.
To stress the literal aspects of the second chapter of Joel and then to assign the verses that do not agree with the literal interpretation to poetic expression is no more defensible than the viewpoint that this is a case of the truth of the Messianic Kingdom encased in a more immediate setting.
To be continued.