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“Dreaming dreams”

Whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered. —Joel 2:32

Read Joel 2:28-32

Imagine that in your normally peaceful neighbourhood, the street is in an uproar. Something has happened to cause a commotion, and excitement buzzes from all sides. The crowd grows ever larger. Even quiet neighbours you hardly know are very animated. People walk around with flushed faces.

That’s the type of situation the prophet Joel had in mind as he wrote our Scripture passage. A new era of salvation was dawning: “And it shall come to pass” (v.28). This term is very similar to what we find in Acts 2:17: “In the last days.” The time period re-ferred to is the time between Christ’s ascension and His coming again. We live in that era.

A characteristic of the time period referred to by Joel is that the Lord shall pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. This is a gift of the Messianic times. But what is so particular about them? In those days dreams will be dreamed and visions will be seen. We could also say that those times are characterized by prophecy. This includes proclaiming the name of the Lord, and standing up for His name and His truth, even when others mock you.

In this rather prolonged period of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring, Joel also includes the Day of Judgment (vv.30,31). From the New Testament we know this time has not yet been completely fulfilled. And still, the gist of the matter stays the same: only those who bear witness to the name of the Lord and call upon Him shall be saved (v.32).

In what way has this prophecy been fulfilled?


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