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Joel: The Day of the LORD

Disaster in the Land, 1:1-14Day of the Lord, 1:15-2:11Dependence on the Lord, 2:12-3:21
Destruction, 1:1-4Imminent, 1:15-2:1Turn to Me, 2:12-17
Awake 1:5-7Illustrated, 2:2-11I will answer, 2:18-3:21
Lament, 1:8-10Restoration of the land, 2:18-27
Be ashamed, 1:11-12Outpouring of the Spirit, 2:28-32
Lament, 1:13-14Judgement of the Nations, 3:1-16a
Blessing for Israel, 3:16b-21

The Day of the Lord is a phrase used repeatedly in the Old Testament as a reference to a time of judgement by God upon the nation of Israel and also upon the Gentile nations. (Note that it is not here a 24 hour day, but rather a reference to an undefined period of time.) Sometimes the reference is to a judgement that was to occur in the near future (Isa. 13:6, 9; Jer. 46:10) and has subsequently been fulfilled, although these are generally seen as but a foreshadowing of the final great Day of the Lord.

Joel, speaking of the day of the Lord, says “it shall come as destruction from the Almighty” (1:15). He goes on to say, “it is great and terrible; Who can endure it?” (2:11). He warns of cosmic disturbances that will precede this great day of God’s judgement (3:14-15). Then the Lord will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel” (3:16).

The Day of the Lord “will be a lengthy time period including both judgement and blessing. It will begin soon after the Rapture and will include the seven-year Tribulation, the return of the Messiah, the Millennium, and the making of the new heavens and new earth.” [1]

[1] Robert Chisholm, Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament

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