Joel 2

* God's judgments. (1-14) Exhortations to fasting and prayer;

blessings promised. (15-27) A promise of the Holy Spirit, and of

future mercies. (28-32)

1-14 The priests were to alarm the people with the near

approach of the Divine judgments. It is the work of ministers to

warn of the fatal consequences of sin, and to reveal the wrath

from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

The striking description which follows, shows what would attend

the devastations of locusts, but may also describe the effects

from the ravaging of the land by the Chaldeans. If the alarm of

temporal judgments is given to offending nations, how much more

should sinners be warned to seek deliverance from the wrath to

come! Our business therefore on earth must especially be, to

secure an interest in our Lord Jesus Christ; and we should seek

to be weaned from objects which will soon be torn from all who

now make idols of them. There must be outward expressions of

sorrow and shame, fasting, weeping, and mourning; tears for

trouble must be turned into tears for the sin that caused it.

But rending the garments would be vain, except their hearts were

rent by abasement and self-abhorrence; by sorrow for their sins,

and separation from them. There is no question but that if we

truly repent of our sins, God will forgive them; but whether he

will remove affliction is not promised, yet the probability of

it should encourage us to repent.
15-27 The priests and rulers are to appoint a solemn fast. The

sinner's supplication is, Spare us, good Lord. God is ready to

succour his people; and he waits to be gracious. They prayed

that God would spare them, and he answered them. His promises

are real answers to the prayers of faith; with him saying and

doing are not two things. Some understand these promises

figuratively, as pointing to gospel grace, and as fulfilled in

the abundant comforts treasured up for believers in the covenant

of grace.
28-32 The promise began to be fulfilled on the day of

Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, and it was

continued in the converting grace and miraculous gifts conferred

on both Jews and Gentiles. The judgments of God upon a sinful

world, only go before the judgment of the world in the last day.

Calling on God supposes knowledge of him, faith in him, desire

toward him, dependence on him, and, as evidence of the sincerity

of all this, conscientious obedience to him. Those only shall be

delivered in the great day, who are now effectually called from

sin to God, from self to Christ, from things below to things

above.

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