Joel describes a terrible locust plague which, I believe, was an actual calamity, not merely a metaphor. The plague did, however, offer the prophet an occasion to speak powerfully about the coming “day of the Lord,” which would be a calamitous event for all, including Israel, who reject the Lord. But, oh my, hear what are some of the most amazing and comforting words found anywhere in the Bible: “’Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster” (2:12,13). These verses bring to mind the following, don’t you think?
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come! --Charlotte Elliott