Day 49: Joel 2:23-29

23 Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
    the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

28 “And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.


The promise here in Joel chapter two is the benevolent response of a gracious God who has heard the cry of a people who have served their sentence for the sins they have committed. As he did in Egypt, God responds to the cries of his people in exile. He promises: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” He goes on to promise the ultimate act of favor toward humanity, saying “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”

Reading this passage through the lens of its fulfillment in the work of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit, we find the prophecy of Joel to be in direct conversation with the promises Jesus makes in the Gospels. Jesus promises in the Gospel of John that after he comes, the comforter and guide will be given. He promises in Acts that in a few days the disciples will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Christianity tends to focus a majority of our theology and doctrine around the Christ event, but we don’t spend a lot of time focusing on the promises of the prophets in the Old Testament and the promises of Jesus himself: the afterward. The Apostle Peter brilliantly calls to mind this passage from Joel at the inception of the Church in Acts chapter two. You and I are a part of God’s plan for the redemption and salvation of the whole world. Christ’s work of redeeming the world and proclamation of the Kingdom of God is ongoing through the work of the Holy Spirit in you and me – Gentiles who have been grafted into the family of God. We are living in the afterward!


Jonathan Burkey | Worship Pastor, Lima Community Church

Brad Taylor