The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree,
The palm tree also, And the apple tree—All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.
Joel’s prophecy was given to the Southern Kingdom of Judah approximately 835 to 796 B.C. Throughout the scriptures, the fig tree is a representation of Israel.
Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
Generally speaking, the ‘day of the Lord’ is a reference to the end when The Lord comes and reigns. It is a day we eagerly look forward to. Bible teqcher and commentator David Guzik says this, “For the day of the Lord is at hand: The idea behind the phrase the day of the Lord is that this is Gods’ time. Man has his “day,” and the Lord has His day. In the ultimate sense, the day of the Lord is fulfilled when Jesus judges the earth and returns in glory. In a lesser sense, a time of judgment as Judah experienced with the locusts and drought is also an example of the day of the Lord.”
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
We see here the heart of God in His call to repentance. He wants all of our hearts, not just part of them. The phrase, ‘rend your heart’, and not your garments’, is a pressing God’s desire that repentance comes from an inward sorrow rather than an outward appearance of being remorseful. How wonderful it is that we have a God who is slow to anger and so very kind.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.
I love this verse, it is a picture of how God restores things that we or others have tried to destroy. When I think of things that have happened to me, beyond my control and how devastating they were, I realize how God has blessed me and restored so many wonderful things in my life. He is such a good God.
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
When Peter gives his first sermon, actually the first recorded sermon after the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came on the scene, he quotes from Joel 2:28 and to the end of the chapter (Acts 2:17-21). Speaking of not only the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but also to the coming day of the Lord and the Great Tribulation.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The valley of decision here is a reference to Joel looking out over the judgment that will take place in the Battle of Armeggedon. It is not man making a decision for Christ, but rather brining judgment upon the rebellious.
Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
Some scholars believe that this scroll is actually the deed to the earth, which we know has been temporarily given over to Satan. Imagine the sense of despair as they begin to think that no one will step up and take the scroll.
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
It is Jesus who takes the scroll, the deed to the earth. He takes back that which He created and belonged to Him all along.
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
It is evident that they are speaking of Jesus. Remember the Gospel of John, John 1:29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!