Joy and blessing on repentance. Joel 2: 21-23
The locusts have done great things (verse 20,21). The locusts have
brought judgments, just as they do in Revelation 9:1-12, where it is
about the fifth trumpet blown by an angel and a fifth warning is heard
across the globe. But also, the Beast does great things (Revelation
13:5), great in the sense of terrible evil things. Those locusts who
have done great things are to be taken literally here first of all. But
they denote all the enemies of God and His people. They denote Tyre
and Sidon (Joel 3:4), the Babylonians and Assyrians, the apocalyptic
enemy (Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and Revelation 20:8),
and so many enemies more. But now the Lord does great things. He
has turned to His people and pitied them. How true it is, “he is
gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and
repenteth him of the evil.” (Joel 2:13) We know how God is still the
same. It is He who drives out our spiritual enemies. It is Him in
whom is a full salvation in Christ.
“Therefore”, now there is the command to rejoice and be glad (verse
21). Like the singers on the shores of the Red Sea and the singers on
the sea of glass (Revelation 15:23, "Great and marvellous are thy
works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of
saints.” God has done it! It is He who brought redemption and
overcame enemies. How great is our joy when we embrace salvation
in Christ by faith. How great is the praise when we see the Savior of
the world in faith.
How clear it is here in Joel, as elsewhere from God's Word, that the
Lord comes with His judgments because He has man's preservation
in mind. He wants His creation and creatures to share in His love
Then we read that all creation shares in the Lord's blessing because
His people are converted! And so, we read (verses 21-23a), ‘Fear
not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness
do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do
yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in
the LORD your God.’ All of creation is involved in God's blessing. In
verse 21 we read about the land. In verse 22 we read about the
animals; they don’t have to fear anymore. After all, the pastures
(even into the wilderness, the desert) and the vines and fruit trees
bring forth fruit again. And in verse 23 we read how the children of
Zion can be glad and joyful again.
Wouldn't our return also have that fruit for our time? Let us return to
the Lord in repentance and faith. Let us turn to Him in confession of
sins and earnestly seek Him. Let us turn to His Son, Jesus the Christ,
who is the Savior of the world. In Him is God's abundant blessing.
And what a promise here in Joel, that when we return to the Lord, He
will bestow blessing not only on His people, but the whole creation.
Rev. J. Th. Pronk