- Review: a terrible day coming the Day of the LORD: Locust beasts (demonic manifestation spoken of in Rev 9), fire, war to end all wars, cosmic shaking. In view of the nearness of this coming calamity, there was an urgent need to warn others and to prepare ourselves. Prepare through heartfelt repentance and a desperate seeking of God.
- If God’s people respond in repentance then the LORD Himself will respond. READ. - this passage quoted 5 times in the NT.
v.18 - if this response is made then He will respond to the remnant of repentant Jews in the land bringing deliverance (v.18-21). Instead of His fiery wrath burning against them, the LORD’s fiery jealousy will flame for them and His mercy will go out toward them. If God’s people humble themselves in genuine repentance and earnest seeking of יהוה - if they turn to Him, He will turn to them. His almighty power will no longer be directed against them but for them. He will act on their behalf. Jealously preserved His people, His land. The land of Israel and its people are His - they belong to יהוה.
v.19 - How wonderful when the LORD turns from being against us to being for us! What blessings flow in consequence! No more is יהוה "deaf" - unresponsive - once more He answers, He speaks to us again! Hallelujah! And all that which was withheld in judgment now overflows. The crops had been devastated (ch.1) now there is abundance. Still His people bear the reproach of being scattered among the nations despite the restoration of the land of Israel - obviously the fulfilment is yet future, for also Israel has yet to come to humble repentance and brokenness -
v.20 - The northern army, the instrument יהוה used to execute judgment upon His people will itself be judged for the things it has done. It did great things - became intoxicated with its military might and victories and went far beyond the command given it - delighting in destruction and slaughter. Now its iniquity is full and it reaps the reward for its deeds. It will be removed from over God’s people and will be driven into a desolate waste - just as it made lands desolate so too it would experience what it inflicted upon others. The army would be scattered - the vanguard in one direction, the rear guard in the other. Like pharaoh’s army of old, both would be driven into the sea - a watery grave, to trouble God’s people no more. Hallelujah! The mighty, "invincible" northern army has been defeated! It is no more! Nothing remains but the smell of its rotting remains (The northern army - Gog and Magog - Ezekiel ch.38:14 Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”...... 18 It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord God, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 39:4 You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord God. And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coast-lands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord...... On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land.)
Removal of fear v.21 - The enemy will be no more. Fear had become endemic - so great were the calamities that came one after another that the people knew no other reaction than fear - it had become automatic. Now there is no cause for it, yet still they fear - they have to be commanded by יהוה to stop being afraid - the cause of fear is no more. Calamity has been replaced by joy. The land, which mourned, now rejoices! Fear will be gone - the land itself will rejoice. For יהוה has done great things! Bless His Name! This is יהוה’s doing! When He acts on His people’s behalf it brings great joy (Psalm 126:1-6 When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad. Restore our captivity, O Lord, Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
). יהוה is great, His deeds are wondrous, He does great things. Praise His Name! The LORD’s deeds are great (Psalm 86:10; 72:18; Rev 15:3,4)
v.22 - Not only remove the scourge, the invading army, also restore what was taken. Again the call goes out to not be afraid - but this time it is to the animals who fear that there will not be food enough for them. But יהוה assures them that the land will produce - the desert will sprout, the tree be fruitful and the fig and vine give strong crops. There is no cause for fear but, rather, reason for rejoicing. The calamity is over, judgment has ceased, no longer famine but plenty. No longer curse but blessing. No more יהוה’s wrath but His favour! Hallelujah! (Psalm 30:5). Fig tree and vine - both a symbol of Israel (cf. 1:7,12 Matt 21:18-19 Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.; 24:32,33 Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.) - that which was cursed will be restored.
v.23 - The famine, drought, and devastation are ended - the rains have returned - God’s blessing: faithful, regular, dependable, life producing and sustaining. They are to rejoice, not in the rain or the productivity, in the blessing, but to rejoice in יהוה Himself. He is the Source and Object of our joy.
Early and later rain (the teacher of righteousness - ? outpouring of the Holy Spirit, ? Coming of Jesus - Stumbling Hebrew: (לִצְדָקָה אֶת־הַמּוֹרֶה)“teacher of righteousness” - so alternative to "early rain for vindication" is "teacher for righteousness" - one who guides to righteousness i.e the Messiah (cf. Essenes at Dead Sea); prophesying Jesus’ first and second comings. Jesus’ first coming was to give His righteousness to those who believe in Him and His atoning sacrifice. The latter rain, His second coming, will also be as His first (cf. Acts 1:11)Rain does not refer to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit); but James says that it refers to Jesus’ second coming (James 5:7-9 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.) [partial and complete fulfilment] Jesus is coming again! He will come and bring deliverance and restoration for Israel! - Messianic reign of Christ from Jerusalem.
v.24 -Making up what was lost When the LORD’s judgment is turned back in response to man’s repentance, His blessing flows in its place. Hallelujah! Abundance! The threshing floor full of grain, the oil and wine vats overflowing! The LORD does nothing by halves - when He blesses, He blesses! Not just sufficiency but such overwhelming abundance that one hardly knows what to do with it all (Luke 6:38; 2 Cor 9:8).
v.25 - All that was lost in the devastating years of judgment will be made up for - RESTORATION! Compare (1:3) - the same locusts but in a different order. They were יהוה’s army that He sent - this was not the enemy’s work or calamity that had overtaken them - this awful devastation was sent specifically by יהוה Himself! He destroyed, sent His instrument to consume, and now He restores - both come from His hand. Complete recovery from the disaster - not just a fresh start but all that had been lost in those years of judgment would be given back - restoration! Wholeness! Completeness! שׁלם - root meaning wholeness, completeness, peace. This would be paid back. All that they had lost, they would regain because יהוה Himself pledged to give it back to them Himself - "I will make up ..."
THE PURPOSE (26-29)That God be known and praised - He is real and is among us
v.26 - Why does God do this? - because they deserve it? For their benefit? - No, that the Name of the LORD may be praised, that His wondrous acts may be known. Indeed His goodness and bounty will cause them to praise His Name. For indeed He has done wonderful, miraculous things for His people. Shame is removed, their reproach reflected on God’s Name (v.17)
- purpose is that they may know that He is God!
v.27 - יהוה reiterates, it is absolutely assured: "My people will NEVER be put to shame." Through this experience of terrible devastation and restoration, His people will learn - they will know that near to, in the midst of Israel is יהוה their God. There is NONE beside Him! Hallelujah! There is no other! Glory to His Name! He is God! He is יהוה! He dwells among His people! The LORD thy God in the mist of thee is mighty! This has been His eternal plan and purpose (cf. Rev 21:3; Lev 26:11,12; Ex 29:45,46; Gen 3:8). Now in the end time it will at last come to be in truth. He is near! He is in our midst! He is יהוה our God! There is no other! Because He dwells among us and is our God, we can never be put to shame. Bless the LORD!
נֹּ longer theory - God has acted mightily on their behalf and the know He is real - all know the LORD- revelation abounds!
v.28 - (v.28-32) forms a separate chapter (chapter 3) in the Hebrew Bible (the Tanach) - there is a break. No longer is it talking of the Day of the LORD itself - God’s judgment, Jesus’ coming and consequent blessing; but the millennial rule when God’s Spirit is outpoured and revelation is given to all. It happens after these things - this is not the early or later rain - fulfilment in Acts 2 but more Promise of the Spirit (after these things Acts 2:15-21 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bond-slaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke ‘The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’) [partial and complete fulfilment]. But restoration of Israel did not come then (cf. Acts 1:6,14 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” v.11 This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.) At the end of this period comes the final judgment of the nations with cosmic order disrupted, but those that call on the name of the LORD will be saved - the elect whom He has called (cf. Revelation 20:4,7,9,11 and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.. After a period of abundance and blessing that hwhy pours upon His repentant people He will pour out His Spirit. First material blessing and abundance, then spiritual blessing and abundance of revelation. First the natural then the spiritual (cf. 1 Cor 15:46; Ezek 37:7-10, 21-28). There is no discrimination - the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh, all mankind, not just Jews. When the Holy Spirit is poured out the consequence is revelation. There is an abundance of the Spirit, there is an abundance of revelation: prophecy, dreams, visions, young, old, male, female - all are hearing from God! Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit’s role is to bring revelation, revelation of Jesus. Where the Holy Spirit is there is supernatural, Divine revelation.
- fulfilment in Acts 2? - yes, revelation to all regardless, available to all, gifts of the Spirit to the young, old, male, female - but it did not come to all but there is a day when revelation will come to all (Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” )
v.29 - God’s Spirit will be poured out without measure in Christ’s Millennial rule (Isaiah 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fertile field, And the fertile field is considered as a forest. 44:3-5 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.’ “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ And will name Israel’s name with honor.). The Holy Spirit will be poured out - when this true and final fulfilment takes place it will make what we call the "outpouring of the Holy Spirit" pale into insignificance because it will come upon ALL and ALL will know the LORD and honour, reverence, praise and glorify Him! Hallelujah! Send Your Spirit LORD!
THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE WAY OF SALVATION/DELIVERANCE (30-32) The remnant - those whom God has called
v.30 - But at the end of Jesus’ Millennial rule there will come a terrifying time as the whole celestial order appears to come apart, ushering in the day of the LORD’s final judgment - not of Israel or His people - but of those who do not know Him. Then a new order is established. If one isn’t aware of God’s plan and purpose, the events of those days will bring great dread - there will be terrifying signs in the sky - wonders, signs, portents, omens of the impending end of the age. The very heavens will seem to be falling apart - what can man do?! This is the end! Only those knowing God’s Word will know that this is how יהוה ordained it to be before bringing to pass a new heavens and a new an earth. But to others there is no hope! Blood, fire, columns of smoke! Terrifying indeed!
v.31 - That day will be a great day, a terrifying day - a day like there has never been, causing great fear and dread as the sun itself ceases to shine. A day of blood, fire and smoke - the moon will be turned to blood. Those heavenly bodies whose faithful appearing we (possibly unconsciously) rely upon, will fail - they can no longer be depended upon - but God’s Word can! hallelujah! Though they be destroyed, still His Word remains! Praise God! His Word is more faithful, lasting, remaining than all - it will never pass away! Hallelujah! Is our dependence on the natural order of the physical realm or is it in something more lasting, solid and secure? - faith that will carry you through even when the heavens and earth themselves are destroyed (cf. Matthew 24:29,30,35 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.)Heaven and earth cannot stand before the coming of hwhy, can you?
v.32 - Terrifying, dreadful, and awesome as that day is, despite its hopelessness and the destroying of the physical order as we know it, there will be those who survive! Paul expounds this passage in Romans 10, the context is a remnant of Israel that will be saved (cf. Romans 9:27
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved
) - No longer the whole people but a remnant, those that God has called, the ones that He has called are the one that call on Him. Jacob clung to God on mount Peniel and became Israel - true Israel is those who cling to God in the day of crisis, who call on His Name.
Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. - what is the way of salvation? Calling upon the Name of the LORD. Those that are delivered from that day, who are saved, are those that: CALL UPON THE NAME OF hwhy - this is the only means of salvation (Rom 10:9-17 if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.)
The necessary steps are: hearing the Good News; repentance - turning from our dead works; faith - believing Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and resurrection; calling upon His name. This sequence of steps is set in motion by the preaching of the Gospel. Those that call upon the LORD are the remnant, predestined, called and chosen by God - He foreknew the response they would make, that they would call on Him. They are chosen unto salvation. Why are they saved while all others are destroyed? - because God called them. They call on Him, but He called them first. Those that survive will be those that יהוה has called. There will be survivors a remnant that will survive this awful day.
To call upon the name of the LORD is to rely on Jesus and His provision of salvations totally (cf. Bronze snake in the wilderness). Salvation/deliverance is to be found in Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”֯