The Prophet Joel
Nothing certain is known of the life of the holy Prophet Joel outside of his book of the Old Testament. The Book of Joel is very short, but contains a very important prophecy relating to the events that occurred on Pentecost: “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 3:1). The promise of the Holy Spirit is followed by a prophecy that the good news shall be proclaimed by those whom the Lord calls. This perhaps heralds the evangelisation of the gentiles which is recorded in the Book of Acts.
The central message of the Book is that “the day of The Lord draws near” (Joel 1:15) and that repentance is needed. The Prophet calls for the trumpet to sound in Zion and for a proclamation to be made in the mountain. All must be made aware of the darkness and gloom that is to come. He calls for the people to turn back to God with all their hearts because He is merciful and compassionate. Repentance will save the Lord’s people from captivity. The captivity of the unrepentant is relevant for us as it was for the Israelites. Put simply, it means that if we fail to repent for our sins, then we become slaves to our own pride and we become confident that God is not necessary in our lives. Joel’s message that the day of the Lord is near, is never old. Those that are unrepentant will not be ready for judgment and their mourning will be too late. We should mourn for our sins and ask for forgiveness, not out of fear of God’s judgment, but because without such repentance we will be caught up in the captivity and blindness of our own pride.
Source: October-November 2014 Lychnos Edition