We’re almost there! We’re almost done with the book of Joel, and, knowing that, let’s get ready to end on a high note. Let’s remember that God is forever, that He keeps ALL of His promises. He promised to abide with us forever, and He’s doing it. Merry Christmas (which is a very prophetic greeting, if you think about it).
What does it mean “Judah will be inhabited forever?” Judah was one of the twelve tribes of Israel (because Judah was one of the sons of Jacob). Three guesses who was descended from the tribe of Judah. This verse is a messianic prophecy. Though Messiah has come, this prophecy hasn’t fully come true yet.
So, “Jerusalem through all generations:” what does that mean? You know, people still live in Jerusalem today. They have since the time this verse was written. Knowing that Jesus will return and make His home again on Mount Zion, this verse also means that God will make His home again with us forever.
Merry Christmas again. In fact, that’s the reason for celebrating Christmas. It’s more than cookies and Rudolph and trees and songs and time off. It’s a look ahead to Easter. It’s a look ahead to Jesus saving humanity by giving and resurrecting Himself; to Jesus’ Holy Spirit indwelling us. It’s also a preview of the beauty when God once again lives among us and within us both.
For the believer, Judah is inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations now. Jesus came to make all women and men adopted children of the Most High. He, descended from Judah and inevitably, eternally connected to God’s holy residence, inhabits the seat of royalty at the right hand of God the Father. He’s doing that right now, this minute, this Christmas.
Yet this verse also alludes to a yet-to-be-completed time in human history when Jesus Himself will also physically reign from Jerusalem. He who is eternal and will live forever will make His home where His temple once stood (and where a temple will again stand one day). Indeed, Jesus, who is the temple Himself, will be the only place of adoration humanity will ever need.
It’s why He was born in Bethlehem. It’s why He was crucified on Calvary. It’s why He rose from Jerusalem and lives and reigns today. It’s why He will return at a time of the Father’s choosing, expunging sin from the world and restoring love and divine order.
That’s bad news for unbelievers, who reject Jesus as surely as did the Pharisees of old. Yet it’s the best news possible for all others, who follow Jesus and eagerly await the day when He makes old things new again: the descendant of Judah inhabiting forever as eternal King of Jerusalem
For more reading: Ezra 9:12, Amos 9:15, Joel 3:21
King Jesus, I can’t wait for Your return. Use me today to tell others about You and Your plans.