The prophet Joel is noted for his use of the word shofar or ram’s horn trumpet. Joel is the first to use this word in a prophetic sense. The initial chapter of this small book describes an army of locusts and the devastation they cause. This is possibly a metaphoric prophecy of an army that lays waste to the Land of Israel. “For a nation has come up against My land . . .” (1 )
In studying this chapter, we have to be aware that the Lord does not lay everything out as in a third-grader’s workbook. He wants us to study and search His Word. “Seek, and you shall find . . .” (2) I point this out because in chapter two of Joel there is another army described. At first glance, it appears that this is more locusts, either actual or prophetic. Brother Waled Shoebat (wha-LEED shu-BOT) presents another possibility in his book God’s War on Terror. (3)
First of all, Joel chapter two begins on an apocalyptic note. “The Day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand.” Then the prophet describes a people, the like of which has never been; nor will ever be again. This is a unique group of people. And note that they are NOT locusts. They march in formation and do not break ranks. The prophet Isaiah describes locusts as running here and there at random. (4)
This army has supernatural qualities. They leap (or fly) over mountain tops. They run and climb walls like mighty soldiers. They lunge at the weapons and are not cut down. They run on (through) walls and enter houses like thieves. This army appears to be the Lord’s army of supernatural soldiers. Bear in mind that when Jesus returned to the Disciples in His resurrected body, He simply entered the room where they were, even though the doors were locked. (5)
This army enters houses even though the doors are locked, and no weapon can stop them! Joel describes the people they approach as writhing in pain with their faces drained of color. A mighty, supernatural army is coming and there is nothing they can do about it. And the Lord Jesus leads this army. “The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong [is the One] who executes His word. For the Day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; Who can endure it?”
Here is what Scripture says about the voice of the Lord. The voice of the LORD [is] powerful; The voice of the LORD [is] full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon. The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare.” (6)
The prophet Joel clearly states that the Lord leads His army on the Day of the Lord.
The Lord’s army destroys all that is before it with fire. Again, Holy Scripture tells us that the Lord will make war and avenge with fire. “And I will bring him (Gog) to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who [are] with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (7) “For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.” (8)
Who or what composes this great army? I think the answer is found in the Revelation 19. This chapter describes the Return of the Lord Jesus, followed by the armies of Heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (9) The fine linen represents the righteous acts of the Saints (10) and is worn by the Bride, or the Church. The armies of Heaven, those invincible, supernatural warriors, are the Church!
The Lord has great plans for His Redeemed. Praise His holy name!
1 - Joel 1:6
2 - Matthew 7:7
3 - God’s War on Terror, Walid Shoebat, Top Executive Media, 2008
4 - Isaiah 33:4
5 - John 20:19
6 - Psalm 29:4-9
7 - Ezekiel 38:22
8 - Isaiah 66:15-16
9 - The Revelation 19:14
10 - The Revelation 19:8