Joel describes the Day of the Lord as “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Joel 2:2).1 But I want to look at another aspect of this day. “As the dawn is spread over the mountains, so there is a great and mighty people; there has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations” (Joel 2:2). Notice what is happening with this mighty people: “A fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns” (Joel 2:3). The flames are speaking about God’s judgments, and they seem destructive. But look at the next part of this verse: “The land is like the garden of Eden before them.” I want you to get this picture. Our Creator is always bringing forth His Kingdom, a better day, and something positive going forward.
Yeshua (Jesus) is at the right hand of the Father preparing a wonderful, fantastic Kingdom that is going to take over and replace everything in creation. He came, died on the cross, was resurrected, and ascended to the right hand of the Father. While He was here, He promised, “I’m like the guy who is going ‘to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return’” (see Luke 19:12). If you read the book of Revelation, you get this idea that it is a negative thing, and you can barely sleep thinking about it. But when Yeshua came, He preached the Kingdom of God. When you pray or prophesy, bring into manifestation this great Kingdom of God. There may be judgment but do not get caught up in that. Realize that before us is a garden of Eden, and we are moving forward into the day of God’s Kingdom and His blessings. Everything that stands in opposition to the Kingdom is being removed, just as chaff is removed from the wheat. Believe me, God will not do away with anything that is good or part of His Kingdom. Get rid of this apocalyptic, negative picture of God as a gigantic ogre and that we are facing tremendous times of suffering ahead. Instead, realize that what is in front of our eyes is like a garden of Eden.
We should be in awe of what God is doing. Yet at the same time, there is “a desolate wilderness behind them, and nothing at all escapes them” (Joel 2:3). Why? Because everything that is not of the Kingdom is being removed. Do not walk into the Kingdom looking backwards because that is not a fun picture. If you are facing the right direction, you will see a garden of Eden. We move forward shoulder to shoulder into this new day that God is creating, and everything that tries to block the Kingdom will be swept out of the way. John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. … The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:2, 10). John the Baptist got all the clutter out of the way and made a flat, smooth path for people to enter the Kingdom. Although we will see a day of dark clouds, there is nothing more fun than watching a good thunderstorm. Everything is washed off and the air is fresh and clean as we look forward to God’s great Kingdom!
1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).