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In this chapter, which closeth the prophecy of Joel, there is contained special blessings to the Church, in the latter day dispensation, and an account to be taken with the enemies of Zion.
Though it may, in a subordinate and secondary sense, be said, that these blessings to the Church were in a measure given on the occasional deliverance of Zion from her enemies, when at any time the Lord reckoned with her foes: yet, it were sadly to enervate scripture, to suppose that the Holy Ghost pointed to any temporal mercies when speaking of the great day of the Lord. Evidently the days here spoken of were the gospel days, and that time the time of salvation, by the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And this scripture, read in this point of view, opens a subject of the most blessed nature. What thanks is there due from the Church to God the Holy Ghost, for thus preparing the Church so many ages before the coming of Christ, to be waiting and looking for her Lord's approach. The valley of Jehoshaphat was near to Jerusalem, as if pointing to the very spot of the Lord Jesus' ministry. And how was the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem brought again, but by the death of Jesus? Reader! how sweet and blessed this subject becomes, when in the many gracious things said in it, you and I can discover our own personal interest in them?
It is observable through the whole of the sacred word, that the day of vengeance, and the year of the Lord's redeemed are always joined. When Jesus comes to save, he comes also to destroy. And when he comes to be glorified in his saints, he comes also to pour out vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus. Isa 63:4 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:10 . And as a further confirmation of this most sure, but alarming truth, it is worthy observation, that the very name of Elohim, the blessed God, in his threefold character of person, signifies the Denouncers of covenant engagements as equally pledged to fulfil condemnation as promises. And this holy name implies the oath to Adonai, the mediator. Psalms 110:4 that while his people shall be made willing in the day of his power, his enemies, both men and devils, shall be put under his footstool. Oh! that this were but duly considered, and that scripture regarded. Psalms 2:12 .
I do not presume to say as much, but I venture to believe, that Joel's prophecy in this Chapter is looking so far on, as to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The valley of Jehoshaphat is again mentioned. And what violence is there to the term, to suppose it refers to this present world. The valley the Prophet Ezekiel was led by the spirit of the Lord down into, evidently referred to this world; and so it may here. Ezekiel 37:1 , etc. And multitudes, multitudes, will be found in it, in that great day of decision, when the whole events of the gospel will be decided. Then, and not till then, will be the peaceable reign of the Lord Jesus, when swords, and spears, and war will be no more. Moreover the morn will be darkened, and the sun ashamed, from the superior lustre of the glory of Jesus. Isaiah 24:23 . And Jesus' voice will be heard, and his presence known and enjoyed as King in Zion. Then in truth, and not in figure, will the mountains drop with wine, and the hills with milk. Jerusalem will truly be cleansed, and made holy in the blood of the Lamb, and the song of redemption be sung by the whole Church upon earth, as it is sung in heaven. Let the Reader look at some of those most blessed and interesting portions of the word of God, and especially the prophecies of scripture which refer to this great event, and let him determine for himself, under the Holy Ghost's teaching, in what sense such divine declarations are to be received. Isaiah 4:0 ; Ezekiel 40:0 to the end; Zechariah 14:0 ; Revelation 20:0 and Revelation 21:0 chapters throughout, with Isaiah 65:17 to the end.
READER! every part of God's word comes in to support the blessed but solemn prophecies contained in this Chapter; when, the Lord shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe, he will come no less to take out of his kingdom all things that offend. That day will burn as an oven, when all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly will be as stubble, and consumed both root and branch. But to the redeemed, Jesus will arise as the sun of righteousness, with, healing in his wings.
My unawakened brother, in our common fallen nature (if peradventure this Commentary should come within your observation) will you suffer me to ask, have you ever duly pondered these things? Have you solemnly thought, equal to the importance of the subject, what you will do, or say, when the Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem? If, in that dreadful day of God, the heavens and the earth shall shake, can the unregenerated, unpardoned sinner, hope to stand in confidence? Is it not important to ask after the way of safety, and to enquire how to escape the wrath to come? If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Ye people of the Lord! Ye that are followers of Jesus in the regeneration; take to yourselves the sweet promises and rich consolations of this most blessed scripture. Your Jesus is coming, and will come to save you. Hear what he saith, and take to yourselves the full comfort of it. You. shall know, Jesus saith, that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion! You shall enjoy his presence, hear his voice, sit with him on his throne. Jerusalem shall then be holy, and be so forever. Then no more strangers shall pass through. No more the Canaanite shall be in the land. No longer the remains of indwelling corruption shall vex the soul; nor the temptations of Satan, or the persecutors of the world afflict. Jesus will have taken away all the remains, and have cleansed all the blood of his people that had not been cleansed. And He will be their joy, their hope, their glory, their portion forever! Amen.
Farewell Joel! servant of our gracious God! farewell until that blessed day when thou, and all the Lord's heritage, come to enjoy the fulfilment of thy prophecies, and enjoy them forever. Thanks for thy ministry, in the short, but precious gospel truths thou hast from thy master, the Lord God of the Prophets, here given us. It is thine honor thus to have been employed, while it is the Church's happiness, to be thus ministered unto. But, blessed forever, blessed be the Lord who hath sent thee with his message! Precious Jesus! give both to him that writes, and to him that reads, grace to improve by thy servant's labors; that that blessedness may be in the lot of both, who hear and keep the words of our God, as the time for the accomplishment draweth nearer. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joel 3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter