Joel prophesied that God would judge other nations for how they treated his people. On the day of the Lord, this future judgment would come; however, on that terrible day, the Lord promised to be a refuge for his people. In this passage, God promised to be the God of his people and live among them in Jerusalem. As a result of God’s presence among the people, the land would be blessed, fruitful and safe from foreign invasion.
This blessing points believers to the day referenced in Revelation 22:1–2, where in the new heaven and the new earth, the river of life will flow from the throne of God and bring life to all the city—including the tree of life, which will continually bear fruit. The people of God can take part in this beautiful blessing because of the work of Jesus on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, he took on the guilt of all who will trust in him for salvation, and he became the one way that God would pardon human sin.
Jesus, then, is the ultimate refuge for the people of God. He not only protects them from their enemies, but he has also absorbed the wrath of God on their behalf. This is what makes it possible for God to dwell within his people. Now, the people of God, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, live each day of their lives with the hope of a great future and wait for this promise of eternal blessing to be realized.
Jesus, thank you for bearing the weight of my guilt. Help me to live free of this guilt, living every second in the knowledge of the future you’ve made possible for me. Amen.
Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible