Monday, June 28, 2021

2021.06.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joel 2:28–32

Read Joel 2:28–32

Questions from the Scripture text: When will this happen (Joel 2:28a)? What will God do (verse 28b)? Onto whom? Who will prophesy (verse 28c)? Who will dream dreams (verse 28d)? Who will see visions (verse 28e)? Upon whom else will Yahweh pour out His Spirit (Joel 2:29)? Then, what will Yahweh show, where? (Joel 2:30a)? What three things on earth (verse 30b)? What two things in the heavens (Joel 2:31a–b, cf. Revelation 6:12)? Before what (verse 31c, cf. Revelation 6:17)? Who will be saved (Joel 2:32a–b)? What will be where (verse 32c)? What establishes/guarantees this salvation (verse 32d)? Who are the ones who end up calling on the name of Yahweh (verse 32e–f, cf. verse 32b)?

Earlier in the chapter, Joel 2:1-11 asked the question, “For the day of Yahweh is great and very terrible; who can endure it?” By the time we finish the chapter, we get the answer, “whoever calls on the name of Yahweh.” 

Joel 2:28 begins, “and it shall come to pass afterward.” The locust plague was a foretaste of judgment to come. And the repentance that He has commanded Israel in the face of the locust plague, and to which He has responded with marvelous grace, is a foretaste of repentance to come. What are some of the features of that repentance?

That repentance comes by the pouring out of His Spirit, verse 28b. The repentance of the heart (Joel 2:12), that responds to Yahweh’s grace (Joel 2:13), by calling upon Yahweh’s Name (Joel 2:32), is a work of the Holy Spirit.

That repentance comes  not in a trickle but a pouring out on all flesh (Joel 2:28b), not to a narrow cross-section of Adam’s children but to all flesh. Jew and Greek, young and old, male and female, slave and free.

That repentance comes by the Word and the understanding of the Word, verse 28c–e. Note the words ‘prophesy’, ‘dreams’, and ‘visions’. The Lord spoke to the fathers at many times in many ways (cf. Hebrews 1:1). But in the last days, He has spoken to their children by His Son (Hebrews 1:2). 

The coming of Christ and completion of the Scriptures puts a slave-girl’s covenant child, with an open Bible, in a better position than the prophets of old. When the apostle explains the phenomenon of tongues at Pentecost, he announces the gift of repentance and the Spirit that is for believers and their children. Not all were called to be apostles then, just as not all are called to be pastor-teachers then or now. 

But the work of the Spirit is for all. Giving us the Word. Giving us light to respond to it. Employing us in one another’s salvation. Filling us and making His Word to dwell in us richly, etc. But especially in granting unto us repentance and making us to call upon the name of Yahweh.

That repentance comes by Christ as the presence and power of Yahweh with men, Joel 2:30-31. His name is Immanuel, “God with us.” And in the presence of the coming of His day, the Lord indeed showed wonders in the heavens and the earth. Darkness covered the land at high noon. The earth shook, and the tombs were opened. All of the various physical manifestations of God’s great visitations were eclipsed at the cross. Christ’s cross opened wide the age of the Spirit, the age of the church, the age of repentance, the age of calling upon the name of Yahweh, the age of salvation.

That repentance comes by calling upon the name of the Lord. The basic confession of Christianity is that this Yahweh of Joel 2:32 is Jesus of Romans 10:9–14. Salvation by Him is what He has sent preachers to announce.

That repentance comes in the context of the church, Joel 2:32d. Outside of Mount Zion and Jerusalem, outside of Christ’s church, there is no ordinary hope of salvation. The gathered congregation, especially, is the place of the Spirit’s signs, and more importantly, the Spirit’s great work. The gathered congregation, especially, is the place of the preaching of the words of eternal life. The gathered congregation, especially, is the place of the people saved by that Word, and prepared by that Word to build one another up. The gathered congregation, especially, is the worship in which they all admonish one another and proclaim the Lord’s death. 

That repentance comes as prophesied by Yahweh, Joel 2:32e.

That repentance comes to those whom Yahweh selects and calls, verse 32f. It is to a remnant, leftovers selected after cutting. How can we know that remnant, and how will that remnant be brought to call upon the name of Yahweh? By the effectual call of the Lord, bringing them to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you been brought to this repentance? Have you called upon the name of the Lord Jesus? How are you participating in others doing so? Why should you urge to come to church those whom you wish to see saved?

Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face” or TPH546 “God of the Prophets!”

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