The day of the Lord.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand – a day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and blackness.” Joel 2:1, 2, NIV. Prophet Joel employs the metaphor of locust, a common problem for those who worked the land for livelihood. The imagery of the locust destruction conveys the message concerning the consequences of apostasy, and God’s judgments against the rebellious nation of Judah. The enemies of Judah would transform the “land of milk and honey” into a land not suitable for a comfortable living, because of their apostasy of Judah. (Joel chapter 1).
The Joel’s warning to Judah covers the period of the four consecutive kingdoms, which ruled the nation of Judah; the Babylon, the Persia, the Greece, and the Rome. Satan employed these four powers in his concerted effort to frustrate God’s plans for the humankind and, if possible, prevent the birth of the Messiah. The most intensive effort was during the Greek rule when, with assistance by the corrupt priesthood, there was pressure to Hellenize the Jews and, thus, do away with the nation of Judah. But the God of Israel is Sovereign. His plans could not be frustrated by any power.
Satan employed evil of the worst kind to prevent the birth of the Messiah. He did it because he knew that if the Messiah comes, he would never realize his plan to be the ‘Most High.’ Isaiah 14:14. But God loved the rebellious nation of Judah, so He called them to return to Him. “‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart…'”. Joel 2:12, NIV. God promised to bless them as before and give them “the autumn rains in righteousness.” Joel 2:23, NIV. The “rains in righteousness” also means “the righteous teacher,” or “the Teacher in righteousness.” The above verse refers to the Messiah, the Savior of the world, through whom God would remove the sin from the people that separated them from Him. God accomplished this on the “dreadful day of the Lord.” “For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” Joel 3:14, 15, NIV. The prophet Isaiah, almost two hundred years earlier, stated the same. Isaiah 13:10. The same is in Amos 5:18.
Joel called the day mentioned above “dreadful,” and he asks a question, “Who can endure it”? Joel 2:11. The dreadful day of the Lord was the Friday, almost two thousand years ago, when the “righteous Teacher,” the Savior of the world, would be made sin for us so that we can become the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21. The Gospel of Luke confirms the above description of the “dreadful day of the Lord.” “It was now about the sixth hour, and the darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining.” Luke 23:44, NIV. Darkness on the dreadful day of the Lord cannot be explained. On that day, God was in Christ accomplishing for the rebellious humanity that which was impossible for it to do. 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19. “Who can endure it?” “And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; Joel 2:32, NIV. What God accomplished on behalf of humanity, on the cross at Golgotha, is apart from all laws known to humankind. The salvation belongs to the Lord and is unconditional to EVERYONE!