23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24. And the floors shall be full…
25 And I will restore…
26. And ye shall eat in plenty…
29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. KJV
We know that the Lord did pour out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I believe that may have been the former or early rain that comes in just measure. It is like a garden that needs watering at the beginning of the planting season. It needs the ground softened to plant the seeds. Then when the seeds are planted it needs watering in just measure that will not move the seedlings or seeds out of their place that would hinder their planting. It must be a gentle rain.
The latter rain is a stronger rain that is sent right before harvest to give the fruit of the harvest an extra burst of growth right before harvest. I have noticed when I water my plants, I do not notice much difference in growth. But when it rains, everything looks much larger and healthier afterwards.
The Lord is the great Husbandman or Gardener who knows how to grow a garden. Israel survived on the produce from their gardens. It was a matter of whether they ate or not. If there was sin in Israel, the Lord would send mold, blight and locusts to eat up their harvests. They learned many lessons from their gardens.
The Lord is also teaching us the same lessons with our spiritual gardens. If we serve Him first in our life keeping His commandments, we will reap a bountiful harvest. Israel’s greatest sin was always Idolatry. The Lord is searching His Church looking for those who will keep Him first making Him their all and all. We will reap what we have sown whether flesh or Spirit.
He says in Joel 2:25-26 that He will restore the years the locust has eaten. He sees the remnant that have suffered and endured without falling into the seductions of this world. He restores to them what they have lost and forfeited. He gives them the spiritual and physical as they are prepared for the last great harvest of souls before He comes.
Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…
This will be that latter rain that gives all the bounty that last burst of growth before harvest. So many will be changed and filled with His Spirit. It will be a time of great joy and rejoicing.
And then the end will come. Verses 30-31 says this happens before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
Joel 2:32 And whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered and saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the remnant of survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. Amp.