ImmerseProphets - Page 442


beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes.” God calls the people to respond to this
plague with repentance. Then, in a stunning oracle revealing God’s
longing to bless the land and make it flourish again, Joel presents an
extended vision of renewal and life:
Surely the Lord has done great things!
Don’t be afraid, O land.
Be glad now and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things.
Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field,
for the wilderness pastures will soon be green.
The trees will again be filled with fruit;
fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more.
Like many of the other prophets, Joel looks forward to an era when
God will do brand-new things in his dealings with humanity. Just as
Jeremiah foresaw a “new covenant” and Ezekiel envisioned a people
with “a new heart and . . . a new spirit,” God says through Joel: “I will
pour out my Spirit upon all people” and “everyone who calls on the
name of the Lord will be saved.” The prophets served as God’s covenant messengers to the people of Israel in their own day, but Joel
reveals that God’s purpose has always been to extend his covenant of
love to all nations.

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