T is common to read in the Bible about people tearing their cloths in anger or fear; for regret, sadness, repentance or other such negative reasons. Of course, there was nothing wrong with those exhibitions of angst. However, if a person or a group of people demonstrated sorrow outwardly, while their heart and mind remained indifferent, then the rending of their garments was meaningless. God saw that His people were tearing their cloths because of their difficulties, but in relation to their own guilt, their hearts were unaffected (Joel 2:13).
There is no doubt that Joel's prophecies here rise above and beyond the mere plagues of his own day. The nation spoken of Joel 1:6 is more than just a reference to the swarms of locusts which were denuding the land. In fact, while he was perhaps referring prophetically to the Assyrians, and to the pending judgment, which (at the time of the writing of this book) was probably only a few generations away, he was ultimately speaking of an invasion that still (to this very day) hasn't happened yet. The Day of the Lord is in view. And, while THE DAY of the Lord must surely refer specifically to the second advent of Christ, the event is so grand and significant that the seven years preceding that day, and the millennium following it, are so inextricably connected to it as to be (in many cases) included completely in the title.