Joel 2:28 God said to the people, “Then (after enduring God’s wrath as punishment for sin) I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.”
Joel takes a break from spilling bad news for the Israelites to reassure them God will not give up on them entirely. Will they suffer? Definitely. But then there is this amazing promise. God will pour out his spirit “on all flesh”. Not SOME flesh, but ALL flesh. All people will be blessed by God after the time of trial. It would have been expected for God to pour his spirit on the men as well as the free people. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it was a cultural reality in ancient Israel. But women? Children? SLAVES?! Wow!
No one is excluded from this promise.
As Christians we understand the promise to have been fulfilled at Pentecost some forty days after Jesus rose from the grave. Why does this matter? It means we Christians have access to God the Father directly. We don’t need someone else to be our intermediary. We can pray to the Lord and be heard. We can listen for the voice of God in response. We can seek insight and wisdom, forgiveness and healing, strength and peace. We can express our gratitude and love of God. We might even prophesy or see visions!
Thank you Lord for the grace you pour out on all believers. Amen.