This well-known prophecy of Joel’s foretells the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all people. The examples given – sons, daughters, old, young, servants – are meant to show that any person, no matter their age or status, would one day be able to receive the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared that this prophecy had been fulfilled.
However, this prophecy is not only about the Holy Spirit, it was also inspired by the Spirit. In fact, throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was instrumental in ensuring God’s prophetic words were passed on to his people.
In 2 Samuel 22, David explains that he has been an ‘oracle’ or prophet of God, and that “The Lord’s Spirit” spoke through him. While it was the God of Israel who spoke the words (verse 3), it was the Spirit of God who enabled David to prophesy.
David wasn’t the only prophet to speak through the Spirit. Ezekiel said several times that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him as he prophesied, and Micah also declared that he was filled with power and the Spirit of the Lord.
Throughout history, the Lord has given his word to his people, to guide them, correct them and encourage them, and this has been done through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was certainly not silent before Pentecost! In fact, we can see the Spirit at work through the Lord’s prophets throughout the Old Testament.
Lord God, I thank you that I live in the time when the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all people. Thank you for the privilege of receiving the Spirit in a way that wasn’t available to your people before Pentecost. I pray that you would pour out your Spirit on your people today, so that we also may be prophets, declaring the Word of God to the nations.