What is a Joel’s Army? Let’s start by looking at an excerpt from chapter 2 of the book of Joel:
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste— nothing escapes them. —Joel 2:1-3
Well, here’s an army. And it’s bad. And it’s not what I’m talking about when I say “Joel’s Army.”
Let me reiterate: this is not the army I’m referencing. Many people are referencing this when they say “Joel’s Army.” I’m not.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ —Joel 2:12-17
Yes, I understand the confusion. The first reference actually says “army” and this second one doesn’t. But the second one is an army, and a much more powerful one at that.
A people who fast and mourn and pray; a people who rend (humble) their hearts before God have always been a more powerful force than any army, no matter the size or power. An army of humble, broken warriors the world has never seen the likes of. No matter what the challenge, no matter what the obstacle, the Lord will always hear His people crying out.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. –Psalm 55:22