A prophet speaks the truth concerning present or future events. In the Bible a prophet is often called a man of God, and the prophet Joel was certainly a man of God used by God, to point people back to God. We need to remember that although prophets are prophets, they are also people, and like all people they live in time and space. At this point in God’s Story, Joel’s time and space was in the middle of great destruction. An army, not of men but of locusts, devastated Judah. Every aspect of life was changed. I have a feeling Joel got the people’s attention when he went on to explain that an even greater devastation would come at the hand of the Lord if the people did not return to Him with all their heart; with fasting, weeping and mourning. “Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse.”
The passage continues with encouragement of how the Lord is compassionate, and present, and everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved. Centuries later, both Peter and Paul quoted the prophet Joel as they preached to people and offered God’s good news.
Some days it may feel as if we too are living in a time of great devastation. It may be on a nation-wide level, or maybe the hardship is personal. God offers us the same promise He gave those living in Old Testament times. Will we properly assess our situation and realize that without Him we have no lasting rescue? Will we call on Him?