That was the sound of the shofar: “Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You!’’ I love this expression of Moses, that God’s enemies should fear Him, the Sovereign God of the universe. He has the power to give favor to those who love Him and the power to annihilate those who despise His righteousness and justice.

Shalom – shalom; peace in the name of Yeshua. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program.

If by chance some of you enjoy the teachings on this program, I am now in the process of putting these teachings on a website called Ancient Scrolls online.com. I am involved in several things right now so the process is rather slow getting everything organized, but eventually it will come together.

We are going to continue examining Joel, make some comparisons with Revelation, and we are going to focus a little while on the bridegroom and the bride. The Jewish language is rich in figures of speech and idioms, and in Joel we will see this concerning the bride and bridegroom in chapter 2 and bring some understanding to what is being said.

I will recite the Sh’ma:

Shema, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. The first commandment is to love the Lord Your God with all Your heart, with all Your soul and with all Your strength.

Father,

I thank You for being God. You are the King of the universe, King over the heaven and earth. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24

Cleanse us from all unrighteousness so that our prayers will not be hindered. We desire our prayers to be effective against the kingdom of darkness; against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. 

We celebrate Your plans to make the kingdoms of this world Your kingdoms, and the kingdoms of Your Son. (Revelation 11)    You will fulfill Your word, every jot and tittle. Everyone will bow to You, multitudes upon multitudes; they will acknowledge You are the sovereign God.

I pray Your people will be infused with wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

We pray in the name of Yeshua. Amen.

So for a couple-a-three weeks we have been going over the book of Joel. In the beginning of Joel there is this apocalyptic picture of these locusts that are symbols of invading armies of the end times, scheduled to meet for the day of the LORD in Israel. All the nations get judged on the Day of the LORD; and this is a theme in the book of Revelation as well; they have a lot of common themes.

They also share this theme of redemption. Israel will be redeemed from her enemies. They are alike in making it clear that God is Sovereign and that the courses of the nations are in His hand. Both give certain confidence that chaos will be destroyed and God’s righteousness will reign over the earth.

Last program we had ended the program in Joel chapter 2 where we saw this description of the Day of the LORD. The description is that it is a fearsome day where a people come, great and strong, the like the of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after then, even for successive generations. Yeshua followed this line of thought in Matthew 24:21, For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Joel and Yeshua agree it will be unique in history.

Verse 3, Joel describes this army as intimidating and formidable a fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns (it is like two fold consuming); the land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; surely nothing shall escape them (the wicked will be destroyed in this process)

Verse 6 Before them the people writhe in pain; all faces are drained of color. They run like mighty men, they climb the wall like men of war; every one marches in formation, and they do not break ranks.

Verse 8. They do not push one another; every one marches in his own column (their designated areas). Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down (They are not halted or prevented by losses, the dead bodies will not hinder their assault against Israel).  They run to and fro on the city, they run on the wall; they climb into the houses, they enter at the windows like a thief (this is figurative of locusts that find entrance, they enter into the secret places of homes, they invade, they are not deterred by towers, gates, doors, or windows). They are compelled to overtake and annihilate Israel.

Verse 10. The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it. (This is similarly stated in Revelation 6:17, For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?)

Then the scene moves to an emotional call of national repentance. God exhorts all in Israel to turn to Him. When I read the next few verses you will see there are no exceptions, everyone must participate in this repentance and fast; even the bridegroom and the bride must leave from their chamber of discovery and joy of each other to join Israel in repenting.

Deuteronomy 24:5, When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken. In this case of national mourning and repentance, there will be no exceptions even for the groom.

Verse 15, Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes;

Let the bridegroom go out of his chamber and the bride from her canopy (NKJ says dressing room for canopy; there is a reason it is translated from canopy to dressing room. The dressing room/canopy could possibly mean the jewelry that adorn the bride’s head on the day of her wedding that she must leave behind to join the nation in mourning. She is leaving behind her dressings, her adornments in the chamber.

The chamber and the canopy/dressing room both refer to the same place. The bridegroom leaves his chamber, (this is a Hebrew idiom-the bridegroom- is the ark, a large wooden cabinet in synagogues that houses the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. The cabinet is called “Aron kodesh”—holy ark). It is the same as the Ark that rested in the Holy of Holies in the Temple; it housed the Two Tablets called the Testimony.  The bridegroom leaves his chamber and the bride from her canopy (NKJ interprets the canopy as a dressing room, the bride is figurative for the Torah. The Teachings of God; the two tablets of testimony. In Judaism the Torah is known as the bride. She, the Torah, will be placed in the bridegroom, the Ark. The Torah and the bridegroom are one in the Ark, just like it was established in the wilderness. The Teachings of God were placed in the Ark, and then placed in the Tabernacle in the Holy of Holies.

Let the bridegroom go out of his chamber and the bride from her canopy. In times of communal fasts, the Mishnah which is a collection of Rabbinic writings, stated that the Ark/bridegroom, would be brought out into the public square and covered with ashes, and prayers were recited in front of it (Ta’an. 2:1). The ashes were symbolic of the unworthiness of the congregation (Ta’an. 16a TJ, Ta’an 11:1, 65a), or the fact that God suffers with His people as it says in Psalm 91:15, he shall call upon Me, therefore I will be with him in trouble; and Isaiah 63:9, In all their affliction He was afflicted. (Ta’an. 16a) Artscroll, Trei Asar, Joel chapter 2:16, page 165

Verse 17, Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, “Where is your God?”

This is the same argument that Moses made to God when he interceded for the disobedient Israelites in the wilderness.

Exodus 32:9-13

And the LORD said to Moses: “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!

Verse 10, “Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”

Verse 11, Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Verse 12, “Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought the out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people.

Verse 13, “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them: ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’”

The most powerful prayer is from the Word itself, when God hears His own Word being spoken to Him. Moses is quite a mediator who is talking to God in God’s language; reminding Him of His promises concerning Israel.

In Psalm 138:2, I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

We may dismiss His words at times, at other times be doubtful of His words, but God holds His words in high esteem; what He says He will do, He will definitely perform His words.

There were two covenants, the Abrahamic and Mosaic.

Genesis 15:12-21 God had made a covenant with Abraham that was unconditional. God alone cut the covenant while Abraham slept. There were no stipulations like in the Mosaic Covenant at Mt Sinai.

Genesis 15 begins with this dialog that takes place between God and Abraham. God assures Abraham though he had no child by Sarah that He had a plan to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the night sky. At God’s request Abraham offers sacrifices and as the sun is setting he falls into a sleep.

Verse 12, Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.

Verse 13, Then He said to Abram: Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict four hundred years,

Verse 14, And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

Verse 15, Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.

Verse 16, But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not complete.

Verse 17, And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces

Verse 18, On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I have given this land from the river Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates –

Verse 19, the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,

Verse 20, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,

Verse 21, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites (Jerusalem).

In this chapter, this portion, of Genesis it is God that makes this covenant, not Abraham. God is making the covenant and He will definitely keep His word to Abraham and to his descendants.

In Joel if the Israelites perish during this time of judgment against them, God would be breaking the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a result, His heritage – the children of Israel that He called to be set apart as holy – would have been shamed, and His name mocked by the nations. (The Messianic Prophecy Bible Project. The Prophet Joel: The Coming Restoration of Israel and the Day of the Lord)

In the next verse we see God relenting just as He had in the account of Moses having interceded for Israel in the wilderness.

Verse18, Then the LORD will be zealous for His land. The LORD will answer and say to His people, Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

I am going to end the program. Rico Cortes will sing the Aaronic blessing in Hebrew from Numbers 6:24-26.

If it is God’s will I will be here next program. Remember to walk by faith and not by sight. Do two things this week: love and forgive. Ask God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness every day. Keep your spiritual garments clean from wrinkles, spots and blemishes. Love God, love your neighbor.