And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
“And afterward”. This is after the people have repented and been washed in the rain of vindication, this is after they have known the true God and felt His presence. It is only after a right and fruitful relationship with the living God has been established that He pours out His Holy Spirit. This last gift is not the goal but it is the result of living lives orientated around the focal point that is the Lord.
Yet in pouring out the Holy Spirit the promise of God’s enduring presence with us is fulfilled. This promise is very similar to the promise for reviving rain in verse 23 that was a sign of God’s early vindication, and in the same way that the rain covers everything, and God’s grace justifies us from all sin, so does His Spirit completely fill all those who would accept it. The Spirit of God is poured out from above onto God’s people as a sign and a gift of our Lord’s eternal presence.
This is a twofold encouragement to us who love Jesus. Firstly anyone who is feeling dry or far from God can rest in this glorious promise to be filled, and secondly that even when we don’t feel full we know that our God will never leave us and therefore the hunger we have to know God more is a hunger that is put there by the Holy Spirit Himself. God is continuously drawing us into a deeper relationship with Him.