27And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The prophet Joel at the beginning of the Book of Joel is warning the people of Judah that a great plague of locusts is on the way. Joel also tells them that they should interpret this as a sign that the Judgement of the Lord is imminent. He tells them that it will be “great and very terrible” (2:11) it will consume the pagan nations – but also unfaithful Judah unless the people repent and turn from their wicked ways.
Now by my uneducated guess since I have not taken an Old Testament Survey class. This is about the 8th time a prophet has come to Judah and said repent for the time is at hand. The two kingdoms have had a very hard time keeping the Mosaic Covenant. Even at this point in Biblical History if I am correct it’s only been 100 years since the Assyrians sacked the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Israelites started to worship other gods. They had focused on other things and disregarded the laws and instructions of Yâ-hweh.They forgot Him as their first love and displeased Him by not doing His will and not aligning to His plan. They did not go after God’s heart, instead, they went after other things or other created things whom they pleased to glorify. God does not allow any rival.
My thoughts. (1) Sexual sins even trafficking (selling their own sons & daughters)- see 3:3. This means also that they were committing — (2) Spiritual Adultery – going after other Gods. (3) Also drunkenness 1:5 — which implies (4) spiritual drunkenness or sleep. (5) It seem the priests were at least part of the cause 1:9, 1:13 and 2:17 (which is consistent with the statements of other prophets) (6) but it seems the average citizen was also complicit in all this (husbandmen, vine dressers, farmers, etc. (7) Which meant that the people overall did not have a heart after the Lord implied by 2:12-14. The Lord was looking for them to repent with all their heart. This of course, is the basic and most direct answer to the question — the heart of God’s people had moved away from the Lord. All of the other points are mentioned as results of this basic problem.
All through the Prophets, God clearly describes the reasons for both captivities. He laments that, astonishingly, even though He sent prophet after prophet to warn them, His people keep sinning more and more, worse and worse as the decades and centuries go by. Finally, He said Jerusalem was even worse than Sodom, and that’s why He had to destroy it and exile His people. Look at God’s list of Sodom’s progressively increasing sins in Ezekiel 16. This gives an idea of what Jerusalem did – only worse. We can also see the parallels of how the West, including the U.S., has moved progressively from pride to multiple and varied abominations.
God is declaring the judgment against Judah for their sins. He uses Joel to explain to the people that he will send a large and extremely powerful army to overtake the land and to rule over the people. Judah’s sins are great, and God decides that he must send a severe judgment to deal with their rebellion and sin.
Joel describes in great detail about the foreign army that God is going to use to punish Judah. This army will be ferocious, strong, swift and cruel. No man, beast, town or kingdom will stand against it once it attacks. There won’t be anything that will keep this army from advancing to destroy the places that God has chosen to wipe out. The nation of Judah was terrified of this judgment.
Joel tells the people that God will drive the advancing army away from Judah if they repent and do right by him. He tells them they will get back the blessings that they had lost. God also planned on making them prosper once again if only they would turn from their sins and worship him once more.
It’s as simple as that. All Judah has to do is turn back to God and return to their first love.
Well let’s compare Israel and Judah to another empire: The British empire.
Starting in the 19th century the British empire was the dominating force of the world. During the golden age of the empire Missionaries were sent throughout the entire realm. At one point the sun never sat on the British empire. The gospel was spread far and wide by great missionaries like David Livingstone. A growing evangelical faction led to revival with leaders like William Wilberforce who helped end slavery
As part of the regular census in 1851, the Government conducted a census in England and Wales of attendance at religious services on 30 March 1851. Reports were collected from local ministers who reported attendance at their services on that particular Sunday
The effect of individuals attending multiple services (morning/afternoon/evening) could not be fully accounted for, but the estimated number of individuals attending a service at some point in the day was 7,261,032 people. The number of individuals attending morning services was 4,647,482, and the total number of attendees (including duplicates) was 10,896,066. The total population at the time was 17.9 million.
But what happened? By the start of the 1960’s modernism and secular humanism had gotten a hold of Great Britain and the decline in morality began. In 2001 71% of Great Britain said they were Christian in 2011 that number was 59%. No religion nearly doubled in that time frame to 24%. Today the second highest religion professed in Great Britian is Islam.
But Bro. Louie this isn’t Great Britain this is America.
The most popular religion in the U.S. is Christianity, comprising the majority of the population (73.7% of adults in 2016). According to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies newsletter published March 2017, based on data from 2010, Christians were the largest religious population in all 3,143 counties in the country. Roughly 48.9% of Americans are Protestants, 23.0% are Catholics, Christianity was introduced during the period of European colonization.
Of that 48.9% In 2007, members of evangelical churches comprised 26% of the American population, while another 18% belonged to mainline Protestant churches, and 7% belonged to historically black churches.
The largest religion, Christianity, has proportionately diminished since 1990. While the absolute number of Christians rose from 1990 to 2008, the percentage of Christians dropped from 86% to 76%. A nationwide telephone interview of 1,002 adults conducted by The Barna Group found that 70% of American adults believe that God is “the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today”, and that 9% of all American adults and 0.5% young adults hold to what the survey defined as a “biblical worldview”.
Today the number is 65% to put it an historical perspective in 1948 which is the 1st gallup survey to ask about religion that number is 91%
Something happened in the 60’s that caused the decline. That was the beginning of the War on the Family and the War on the Christian Culture. Today we see the effects of that war that is raging for the Soul of America. Now I will admit that Satan has won a few battles but I know that we will win in the end.
How do I know? Well I read the back of the book and we win.
How do we get to that point? We stand up and start fighting back. We get down on our knees and we fervently pray for our home, our town , our state, and our nation. We boldly approach the throne of Grace and ask that the Holy Spirit descend down and light the fire of revival in our hearts, in our churches and in our nation. As is says in James 5:14-16
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
That phrase “The effectual fervent prayer” has stuck with me since childhood. It is something that I strive for in my own life and I hope and pray that it is something that we all can strive for. Now do I hit that mark all the time? Nope, but everyday I wake up and know that “this is the day that the Lord hath made so let us rejoice and be glad in it”. I can work toward that fervent prayer life. I can work for that boldness and that zeal to share what is on my heart and take up my sword and shield to go into battle.
We can become as fervent as the early church was in Acts 2. If we just take the time to pray and study the Word of God. If we take the time to work the fields that Christ talked about. If we work to take that first step of Faith and know that Christ is there beside us as we build up the Army of God.
We are commanded to proclaim the Word. To be honest it is very simple as it says in
Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
I could go on but it’s just that simple. All we have to do as a Nation is turn back to God. He is waiting to send down that spirit of revival but He is waiting for us to ask and for us to start acting like the strong Chrisitans that we are.
We need to be that “Shining light on top of the hill” , that “Light in the Dark” the “Salt of the Earth” that we are supposed to be.
All it takes is for us to start
Let us Pray