The Alarm is Sounding Part I
Written by Dr. Christi Butler / Oct. 2015
Note: Recently I was asked to speak at a home group meeting and the following article is a written version of the message that was shared. An audio version of this message is available on youtube. Search “The Day of the Lord Joel 2:1,” and the title screen says “Living Flame.”
In Joel chapter 2 verse 1, the prophet writes, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the Day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand.”
In this passage, Joel is speaking under the unction and inspiration of the Spirit of God as a prophetic watchman. He is speaking a word that has a specific application for his generation, but there is also a further depth of meaning in Joel’s words as he foresees a time in the distant future known as “The Day of the Lord.”
Joel is writing to urgently call his nation to prayer and repentance before an immanent time of judgment. This book was written some time around 800 BC just before the Assyrian Invasion that devastated the 10 Northern tribes from 740-722BC. Some areas in the Southern Kingdom were also attacked, but the Southern Kingdom of Judah did not suffer the same level of destruction.
At any rate, I am mentioning this to point out that Joel was warning about very real events that were coming on the horizon for Israel, and at the same time, he was declaring prophetic truth for a future generation that would be alive just before the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.” We are that generation. Joel was calling his nation to humility, prayer, and repentance in the hope that many would turn away from sin and towards God. Joel believed that if the people would turn back to God, it was possible that God would display mercy towards the nation of Israel instead of judgment.
In much the same way, I believe there is an urgent call going forth in the realm of the spirit for America (and for the whole world), to repent and turn back to God. Joel says, “Blow the Trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm.” This message is meant to be the sounding of a spiritual alarm. Therefore, I have entitled this message, “The Alarm is Sounding.” Notice I did not say, “Sound the Alarm,” I said, “The Alarm is Sounding,” meaning that the alarm is already going off in the spiritual realm and it is time for the church to take notice and react accordingly.
The alarm is sounding and the Day of the Lord is at hand. In the Bible, the Day of the Lord has a few meanings. [As a side note, I highly recommend doing a study of all the passages in scripture having to do with the Day of the Lord, or “that day,” because there is far more to learn about this than I have time to teach on in this blog post]. At any rate, the Day of the Lord is both a literal day and a period of time that covers events occurring several years before the return of Christ and follows into the 1000 year Millennial reign of Christ on the earth. Therefore, the Day of the Lord, according to scripture, involves all of the events described in the book of Revelation (such as various judgments being poured out on the earth, cosmic signs, the wrath of God, Armageddon, and so on), but it also involves the blessings associated with the establishment if the Kingdom of God on this earth (meaning the healing of the nations of the world after the Second Coming of Christ). So, the Day of the Lord involves both a period of wrath and a period of blessing.
For more on this study read the following scriptures and read them in context: Is. 2:10-21; Is. 13; Jer. 46:10; Ez. 30:3-4; Joel 1:15 – 2:17; Joel 3:9-16; Amos 5:16-27; Oba. 1:15-16; Zech. 14; 1 Thes. 5:1-10; 2 Pet. 3:10-14; 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; Rev. 6:16; Rev. 14:10
The Shaking of the Heavens – Is. 13:13; Is. 2:19-21
The Blessing – Is. 4:2-6; Joel 2:18-27; Joel 3:18-21; Zech. 14:8-11; Hos. 2:16-23; Amos 9:11-15; Ez. 34:23-31; Ez. 37:24-28
This article will be continued tomorrow with Part II. Have fun studying!