Joel 1:15 The day is near, the Day of the Lord it comes as a mighty destruction from Almighty God.
Joel 2:1-5 Blow the trumpet in Israel, sound the alarm in Jerusalem. Let all who live in the Land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming – it is close at hand. A Day of darkness and clouds. Like [at] the dawn, an innumerable host comes across the land, such as never was and will never be again. A fire goes before them, leaving wasteland behind. With a great noise they leap mountains and consume everything to stubble.
Joel 2:6-11 At the sight of them, all the nations are in anguish. They march in line, none swerving against any defence. They rush upon cities and enter houses through the windows. The earth quakes and the sky is darkened. The Lord thunders at the head of His army, beyond number are those who obey His command. The Day of the Lord is great and dreadful, who can endure it?
Joel 1:6-12 & 19-20 this invading host destroys trees and crops. Fire has burnt the pastures and trees. All the streams have dried up.
The Day of the Lord, as described by Joel is not Armageddon, at the Return of Jesus or at the Great White Throne judgement. It is plainly an event before then, also prophesied in Isaiah 2:12-21, Revelation 6:12-17, Ezekiel 7:2-9: + over other 100 times.
Joel uses the metaphor of an army to describe how this destruction moves across the earth as it rotates- ‘with the dawn’. As nations turn to face the sun, the effects of a Coronal Mass Ejection- sunstrike will hit them. Initially, it will strike the earth as a light flash [Isaiah 30:26a] within 8 minutes, then the highly charged cosmic particles arrive about 24 hours later, causing immense destruction and deaths. Fires and volcanic eruptions will result in smoke and ash clouds, covering the sky. Isaiah 29:5-6, Psalms 18:7-15, Jeremiah 4:23-28
Judah [the current State of Israel] is affected- Hosea 8:14, Eze. 20:45-48, Isa 4:3-4.
And the Lord’s enemies: Isaiah 22:5-14, Psalms 83:1-18, Isaiah 63:1-6 plus many others.
Deuteronomy 32:34-43 says how He will act when His enemies ‘foot will slip”. That is they make a mistake. That mistake will be their instigating an attack against Israel.
Malachi 4:1-3 Surely the day of the Lord is coming, it will burn like a furnace. All the evildoers will be as stubble, they will be burned up. They will be ashes under your feet. But for you, who revere My Name, righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. You will rejoice and prevail over the wicked on the Day that I act against them.
THEN the many prophecies that describe the migration of all true believers into the Promised Land will come to pass. This great exodus of His Christian people will fulfil the promises that God made to the Patriarchs and they will, at last be a people that will be a ‘light to the nations’. They will prepare themselves and the world for the Return of Jesus. Ezekiel 35:11-30, Ezekiel 36:8-12, Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Zechariah 10:6-12, Isaiah 46:27-28, Ezekiel 39:25-29, Zephaniah 10:6-12
That Jesus is not yet present at this time, is clear from the many verses saying: ‘You will know that I am the Lord, when… And how it ‘will be as in the days of Egypt’.
Eze. 14:6-11, Eze 39:22, Joel 2:27, Isa 41:20. Reference: REB, NIV. Some verses abridged