But Judah shall dwell for ever. —Joel 3:20
Read Joel 3:18-21
You may have seen travel advertisements promising the discov-ery of a lost paradise. Usually they are referring to some distant, quiet, sunny island. When the term “paradise” is used in this manner, it is designed to portray something that is significantly beau-tiful. But the question remains, is it Paradise? No, of course not! In one day, a beautiful paradise advertised by travel agencies can change into a nightmare through war, terrorism, an oil spill, a volcanic eruption, or a tsunami.
The last section of Joel’s prophecy also speaks about a paradise. In verse 18 he describes many earthly blessings of the Messianic period, such as mountain sides covered with vineyards, hills teaming with flocks (for milk), and an abundance of water flowing in the rivers. His description almost reads like a vacation advertisement! However, it is no mere ad, but guaranteed to be the real thing. The guarantee lies in the fact that “a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD.” Water in abundance will be provided, for the Lord Himself will take care of it.
This means that we should not only be concerned for earthly blessings, but especially for spiritual ones. In his description, Joel reminds us of our first paradise. This garden was glorious because the Lord Himself was present there with His favour. This will be true again, according to the prophet, for “a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD.”
What was so wonderful in paradise?