on Joel 2 :32
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord - כל אשר יקרא בשם יהוה col asher yikra beshem Yehovah, "All who shall invoke in the name of Jehovah." That Christ is the Jehovah here mentioned appears plain from Romans 10:15, where the reader had better consult the notes. "This refers," says Bp. Newcome, "to the safety of the Christians during the Jewish and the Roman war." It may: but it has a much more extensive meaning, as the use of it by St. Paul, as above, evidently shows. Every man who invokes Jehovah for mercy and salvation by or in the name, Jesus - that very name given under heaven among men for this purpose - shall be saved. Nor is there salvation in any other; and those who reject him had better lay these things to heart before it be too late.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem - Our blessed Lord first began to preach the Gospel in Mount Zion, in the temple, and throughout Jerusalem. There he formed his Church, and thence he sent his apostles and evangelists to every part of the globe: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Of the Jews there was but a remnant, a very small number, that received the doctrine of the Gospel, here termed the remnant that the Lord should call; קרא kore, whom he calleth. Many were called who would not obey: but those who obeyed the call were saved; and still he delivers those who call upon him; and he is still calling on men to come to him that they may be saved.
on Joel 2 :32
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord - To call upon the name of the Lord, is to worship Him, as He is, depending "upon" Him. "The name of the Lord," expresses His True Being, That which He is. Hence, so often in Holy Scripture, people are said to "call on the Name of the Lord," to bless the Name of the Lord, to praise the Name of the Lord, to sing praises to His Name, to make mention of His Name, to tell of His Name, to know His Name" but it is very rarely said "I will praise the Name of God" (Psalm 69:31; Hebrew), for the Name rendered "the Lord," expresses that He is, and that He Alone is, the Self-Same, the Unchangeable; the name rendered "God" is not the special Name of God. Hence, as soon as people were multiplied and the corrupt race of Cain increased, people "began," after the birth of Enos, the son of Seth, "to call upon the Name of the Lord" Genesis 4:26, i. e., in public worship. Abraham's worship, in the presence of the idolatries of Canaan, is spoken of, under the same words, "he called upon the Name of the Lord" Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 21:33; Genesis 26:25. Elijah says to the prophets of Baal, "call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the Name of the Lord" 1 Kings 18:24. Naaman the Pagan says of Elisha, "I thought that he would come out to me, and stand and call on the Name of the Lord his God" 2 Kings 5:11. Asaph and Jeremiah pray God; "Pour out Thy wrath upon the pagan that have not known Thee, and upon the kingdom (families Jerome) which have not called upon Thy Name" Psalm 79:6; Jeremiah 10:25; and Zephaniah fortells the conversion of the Pagan, "that they may all call upon the Name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent" Zephaniah 3:9.
To "call" then "upon the Name of the Lord" implies right faith to call upon Him as He is; right trust in Him, leaning upon Him; right devotion, calling upon Him as He has appointed; right life, ourselves who call upon Him being, or becoming by His Grace, what lie wills. They "call" not "upon the Lord," but upon some idol of their own imagining, who call upon Him, as other than He has revealed Himself, or remaining themselves other than those whom He has declared that He will hear. For such deny the very primary attribute of God, His truth. "Their" God is not a God of truth. But whosoever shall in true faith and hope and charity have in this life worshiped God, "shall be delivered," i. e., out of the midst of all the horrors of that Day, and the horrible damnation of the ungodly. The "deliverance" is by way of "escape" (for such is the meaning of the word , "he shall be made to escape, slip through" (as it were) perils as imminent as they shall be terrible. Our Lord uses the like word of the same Day, "Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" Luke 21:36. Those who so call upon Him in truth shall be heard in that day, as He says, "Ask and it shall be given you; Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you" Matthew 7:7; John 16:23.
: "That calling on God whereon salvation depends, is not in words only, but in heart and in deed. For what the heart believeth, the mouth confesseth, the hand in deed fulfilleth, The Apostle saith, "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:3; yet this very "saying" must be weighed not by words, but by the afflictions. Whence, we read of Samuel, "And Samuel among those who call upon His Name," and of Moses and Aaron, "These called upon the Lord, and He heard them" Psalm 99:6.
For in Mount Zion ... shall be deliverance - Repentance and remission of sins" were to "be preached in the Name" of Jesus, "in all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" Luke 24:47. "There" was, under the Old Testament, the center of the worship of God; there was the Church founded; thence it spread over the whole world. "The place," "whither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord" Psalm 122:4, where God had set His Name, where alone sacrifice could lawfully be offered, stands, as elsewhere, for the whole Church. Of that Church, we are in Baptism all made members, when we are made members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of heaven. Of that Church all remain members, who do not, by viciousness of life, or rejecting the truth of God, cast themselves out of it. They then are members of the soul of the Church, who, not being members of the visible communion and society, know not, that in not becoming members of it, they are rejecting the command of Christ, to whom by faith and love and in obedience they cleave. And they, being members of the "body" or visible commumion of the Church, are not members of the "soul" of the Church, who, amid outward profession of the faith, do, in heart or deeds, deny Him whom in words they confess. The deliverance promised in that Day, is to those who, being in the body of the Church, shall by true faith in Christ and fervent love to Him belong to the soul of the Church also, or who, although not in the body of the Church shall not, through their own fault, have ceased to be in the body, and shall belong to its soul, in that through faith and love they cleave to Christ its Head.
As the Lord hath said - By the prophet Joel himself. This which he had said, is not man's word, but God's; and what God had said, shall certainly be. They then who have teared and loved God in this their day, shall not need to fear him in that Day, for He is the Unchangeable God; as our Blessed Saviour says; "heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" Mark 13:31. God had said of both Jews and Gentiles, united in one; "Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful to His land and unto His people" Deuteronomy 32:43.
And in the remnant - While foretelling His mercies in Christ, God foretells also, that "few they be that find them" Matthew 7:14. It is evermore "a remnant, a residue, a body which escapes;" and so here, the mercies should be fulfilled, literally, "in the fugitives," in those who flee from the wrath to come. All prophecy echoes the words of Joel; all history exemplifies them. Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, all foretell with one voice, that a remnant, and a "remnant" only, shall be left. In those earlier dispensations of God, in the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; in His dealings with Israel himself at the entrance into the promised land, the return from the captivity, the first preaching of the Gospel, the destruction of Jerusalem, "a remnant" only was saved. It is said in tones of compassion and mercy, that "a remnant should be saved. The remnant should return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God" (Isaiah 10:20; add Isaiah 10:21-22; Isaiah 6:9-13, etc.). "The Lord of hosts shall be for a crown of glory to the residue of His people" Isaiah 28:5. "The Lord shall set His Hand to recover the remnant of His people which shall be left" (Isaiah 11:11, add 16). "I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them" Jeremiah 23:3. "Publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel" Jeremiah 31:7. "Yet I will leave a remnant, that ye may have some that escape the sword among the nations" Ezekiel 6:8. "Therein shall be left a remnant which shall be brought forth" Ezekiel 14:22. "I will surely gather the remnant of Israel" (Micah 2:12; add Micah 4:7 : Micah 5:3, Micah 5:7-8). "Who is a God like Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?" Micah 7:18. "The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity" (Zephaniah 3:13; add Zephaniah 2:9). "The residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city" Zechariah 14:2. It is then a summary of the declarations of the prophets, when Paul says, "Even so, at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded" Romans 11:5, Romans 11:7. And so the prophet says here;
Whom the Lord shall call - He had said before, "whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be delivered." Here he says, that they who should "so call on God," shall themselves have been first "called by God." So Paul, "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord" 1 Corinthians 1:2. It is all of grace. God must first call by His grace; then we obey His call, and call upon Him; and He has said, "call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" Psalm 50:15. God accounts our salvation His own glory.
on Joel 2 :32
2:32 Whosoever shall call - Who hearing the gospel repents and believes in Christ. Delivered - Either from those outward afflictions, or which is infinitely better from eternal miseries, which will swallow up the unbelieving world; and it will aggravate the ruin of those who perish, that they might have been saved on such easy terms. Is it then easy for a non - elect to repent and believe? May he not as easily pull the sun out of the firmament? In mount Zion - In the true church typified by Zion. Jerusalem - In mystical Jerusalem, the church and the city of the Messiah. Deliverance - Temporal and eternal. Shall call - To believe in Christ, and by him to wait for eternal life.