Joel 2:18-32

At that, God went into action to get his land back.
    He took pity on his people.
God answered and spoke to his people,
    “Look, listen—I’m sending a gift:
Grain and wine and olive oil.
    The fast is over—eat your fill!
I won’t expose you any longer
    to contempt among the pagans.
I’ll head off the final enemy coming out of the north
    and dump them in a wasteland.
Half of them will end up in the Dead Sea,
    the other half in the Mediterranean.
There they’ll rot, a stench to high heaven.
    The bigger the enemy, the stronger the stench!”

The Trees Are Bearing Fruit Again

Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate!
    God has done great things.
Fear not, wild animals!
    The fields and meadows are greening up.
The trees are bearing fruit again:
    a bumper crop of fig trees and vines!
Children of Zion, celebrate!
    Be glad in your God.
He’s giving you a teacher
    to train you how to live right—
Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words
    to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.
And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain,
    casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.

“I’ll make up for the years of the locust,
    the great locust devastation—
Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
    fierce locusts, locusts of doom,
That great locust invasion
    I sent your way.
You’ll eat your fill of good food.
    You’ll be full of praises to your God,
The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.
    Never again will my people be despised.
You’ll know without question
    that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,
That I’m your God, yes, your God,
    the one and only real God.
Never again will my people be despised.

The Sun Turning Black and the Moon Blood-Red

“And that’s just the beginning: After that—

“I will pour out my Spirit
    on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
    also your daughters.
Your old men will dream,
    your young men will see visions.
I’ll even pour out my Spirit on the servants,
    men and women both.
I’ll set wonders in the sky above
    and signs on the earth below:
Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
    the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
Before the Judgment Day of God,
    the Day tremendous and awesome.
Whoever calls, ‘Help, God!’
    gets help.
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be a great rescue—just as God said.
Included in the survivors
    are those that God calls.”

Read More of Joel 2

Joel 3

God Is a Safe Hiding Place

1-3 “In those days, yes, at that very time
    when I put life back together again for Judah and Jerusalem,
I’ll assemble all the godless nations.
    I’ll lead them down into Judgment Valley
And put them all on trial, and judge them one and all
    because of their treatment of my own people Israel.
They scattered my people all over the pagan world
    and grabbed my land for themselves.
They threw dice for my people
    and used them for barter.
They would trade a boy for a whore,
    sell a girl for a bottle of wine when they wanted a drink.

“As for you, Tyre and Sidon and Philistia,
    why should I bother with you?
Are you trying to get back at me
    for something I did to you?
If you are, forget it.
    I’ll see to it that it boomerangs on you.
You robbed me, cleaned me out of silver and gold,
    carted off everything valuable to furnish your own temples.
You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem
    into slavery to the Greeks in faraway places.
But I’m going to reverse your crime.
    I’m going to free those slaves.
I’ll have done to you what you did to them:
    I’ll sell your children as slaves to your neighbors,
And they’ll sell them to the far-off Sabeans.”
    God’s Verdict.

Announce this to the godless nations:
    Prepare for battle!
Soldiers at attention!
    Present arms! Advance!
Turn your shovels into swords,
    turn your hoes into spears.
Let the weak one throw out his chest
    and say, “I’m tough, I’m a fighter.”
Hurry up, pagans! Wherever you are, get a move on!
    Get your act together.
Prepare to be
    shattered by God!

Let the pagan nations set out
    for Judgment Valley.
There I’ll take my place at the bench
    and judge all the surrounding nations.

“Swing the sickle—
    the harvest is ready.
Stomp on the grapes—
    the winepress is full.
The wine vats are full,
    overflowing with vintage evil.

“Mass confusion, mob uproar—
    in Decision Valley!
God’s Judgment Day has arrived
    in Decision Valley.

“The sky turns black,
    sun and moon go dark, stars burn out.
God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem.
    Earth and sky quake in terror.
But God is a safe hiding place,
    a granite safe house for the children of Israel.
Then you’ll know for sure
    that I’m your God,
Living in Zion,
    my sacred mountain.
Jerusalem will be a sacred city,
    posted: ‘no trespassing.’

Milk Rivering Out of the Hills

“What a day!
    Wine streaming off the mountains,
Milk rivering out of the hills,
    water flowing everywhere in Judah,
A fountain pouring out of God’s Sanctuary,
    watering all the parks and gardens!
But Egypt will be reduced to weeds in a vacant lot,
    Edom turned into barren badlands,
All because of brutalities to the Judean people,
    the atrocities and murders of helpless innocents.
Meanwhile, Judah will be filled with people,
    Jerusalem inhabited forever.
The sins I haven’t already forgiven, I’ll forgive.”
    God has moved into Zion for good.

Read More of Joel 3