I’ll be honest. Joel is one of those books that I’m not entirely sure what to do with. It’s a prophecy a lot like every other prophecy we have on record.
There’s just one thing that stands out: the promise of the Holy Spirit. Eventually, Joel promises, the Spirit will be poured out on everyone. Prophecy will be common. Dreams and visions will be frequent. Or, at least, more so than anyone is used to.
The Spirit will not be reserved for those with a ‘special’ relationship with God. It will be for everyone.
I don’t know if that is a comfort or a terror, to be honest. It removes the “we didn’t know” or “we didn’t understand” excuse. I don’t know how often anyone tried that, but it feels like fairly standard human nature to do so. And let’s be honest, there aren’t a whole lot of prophets with enviable lives. They all look pretty rough. Why would everyone want that?
Well, because a close personal relationship with God is what it’s all about, you know?
Yeah, the Almighty is a bit terrifying. The Everlasting is a bit overwhelming. But he’s the One Who Sees us. He’s the one who truly loves us. He is the Provider.
He should be a bit terrifying and overwhelming, but he’s also the greatest and only true source of comfort. Having the Spirit in our lives admits us directly to his presence. The prophecies of Christ’s victory, of Christ’s redemption, are one thing, one amazing thing, the freedom from condemnation. The prophecy of the Spirit’s presence is another, the promise of restitution, or restoration.
Redemption is only half the story. We are redeemed so that was might be restored.