"You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame."
To this point in the book of Joel, the people should have been ashamed because of their rebellion against Him. The LORD sent a devouring army described as locust to consume the bounty of the nation. The devastation was so complete they didn't have grain or wine to offer the required sacrifices (Joel 1:9, 13, 16). God calls for the nation to repent and return to Him (Joel 1:8-9, 13-14). In Joel's indictment against the nations and his call to repentance, is the constant refrain of "the day of the LORD" (Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11), the expected day of God's judgment. When the people return to Him, the LORD promises restoration in Joel 2:18-27. Immediately after promising that His people will never be put to shame again, the LORD promises to pour out His spirit on all flesh.
This promise was a desire Moses expressed in Numbers 11:29. In the previous passage, Moses was overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for the entire nation. God told him to select seventy men, and He would take some of the Spirit on Moses and place It on them. They too would have the gift of the Spirit to help shepherd the people. When God put His Spirit on them, two of the seventy were missing from the group, but God included them anyway. Joshua was upset that the two were prophesying. In verse 29 Moses said to Joshua, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
What Moses hoped for and Joel prophesied, Jesus promised would happen. In John 16:7 Jesus told the disciples when He left the Helper would come. In Luke 24:49, He said, "I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Acts 2 reveals the Father's promise fulfilled. The Holy Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room. The sound of the appearing of the Spirit caused the people in Jerusalem to go and see what was happening. Some in the crowd thought the disciples were just drunk, but Peter explained to them what was happening was the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. Peter begins his sermon by quoting that passage.
It is important to note what the LORD promised would happen before He poured out His Spirit. The NLT translates the first phrase in Joel 2:27 as "Then you will know that I am among my people Israel." The NET says, "You will be convinced that I am in the midst of Israel." So before the promise of the gift of the Spirit is fulfilled, He would make Himself known to Israel. Isn't that exactly what Jesus had been doing for the last three years? He began His ministry by crying out "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." He had displayed the power of God over death, disease, demons, and nature. His walking among the people of Israel convinced those with eyes to see.
Notice also, the second promise in Joel 2:27, "My people shall never again be put to shame." How could He say that? Luke 18:32 speaking of the Son of Man says, "He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated...they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise." Hebrews 12:2 (NET) says, "Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith, for the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." Therefore, Paul can say in Romans 10:11, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." Romans 10:13 using the Joel 2:32 promise says, "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Lord God, Your Word refers to those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord as "children of the promise." We know that is the promise You made Abraham. But we could easily and appropriately be referred to as "children of the many promises." You are a faithful and promise keeping Father. Please, through the power of Your Spirit, stir within us the desire to live in the fullness of the Promised One.