2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 ...we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour (9am) of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days", says God, "That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Peter addresses the growing skepticism in the crowd with Scripture. He quotes from their own Book. He points them back to the Source of their beliefs and faith. The choice of the prophet Joel is a fascinating one. He is not considered a primary prophet. I would be willing to go out on a limb and suggest most Christians today couldn't even tell you what the book of Joel is about.
In a nutshell Joel wrote to God's people about the need to repent and turn back to Him prior to the 'Day of the Lord'. He also predicted that before that day came God would make Himself known in dramatic ways to His people through dreams and visions and prophecies.
In our day we think of the 'Day of the Lord' as the end of the world as we know it. Ultimately this is true. However all through history there have been times where God drew a dramatic "line in the sand" and people had to choose which side of the line they would stand on. For Noah and world of his day the flood and choosing to get on the boat or not was the line in the sand and anyone who refused to did not survive "the Day of the Lord". Of course prior to all that God revealed His plan and warned the world through visions and dreams and prophecies. As we continue through Scripture similar lines were drawn in the sand on a smaller scale for all various peoples at various times.
Here on the Day of Pentecost a similar point in time or line in the sand is being drawn. Jesus came. To some He was a fraud. To others He was the Messiah and the Son of God. For most His identity was confusing at this point. Jesus Himself prayed as He was dying on the cross "Forgive them Father because they don't know what they are doing."
However God is not going to leave them in that state of confusion. Before He draws a final line in the sand for the Jewish nation He is making Himself and His Son clearly known to the world.
Tomorrow we'll continue to explore exactly what was happening then and take a peek into what it all might mean for us...