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There is so much information in the book of Joel.
The overriding theme is “the Day of the Lord”, a day of God’s wrath and judgment. This is the Day in which God reveals His attributes of wrath, power AND holiness, and it is a terrifying day to His enemies. Chapter begins with the Day of the Lord being experienced historically by the plague of locusts upon the land. Chapter 2:1-17 is a transitional chapter where Joel uses the metaphor of the locust plague and drought to renew a call to repentance. Once again we see a prophet sent by God to WARN HIS people to repent and RETURN TO HIM…not in rituals or acts to be seen by others but with a true repentant heart. Chapter 2:18-3:21 describes the Day of the Lord in eschatological (study of the end times) terms and answers the call to repentance with prophecies of physical restoration (2:21-27), spiritual restoration (2:28-32), and national restoration (3:1-21).
The book of Joel is in harmony with Ezekiel, parts of Daniel, some of Isaiah, Zechariah, and of course Revelation. Yet each of these books are from slightly different perspectives. Once again I must admit my lack of knowledge and understanding of much of this book. However, I do know that the core message of this book and the bible itself is that God is calling us to return to Him, to repent, and desire to live our life wholly dedicated to Him, changing more into His image, and plain and simple loving HIM with all our heart, soul, mind. God has been doing this since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, we don’t always make our decisions with Him in mind….or we think we are but slip up. Then the enemy gets in and wants us to believe the lies, isolate, and pull away from God….doing things our way rather than God’s way. As we have seen with Israel and Judah…..they KNEW God yet choose to “do it their way” and be like the world around them. Oh that is soooooo easy to fall into that trap.
The big take away from Joel is that God wants ALL to know Him and have and maintain a personal relationship with Him. However, there will be many who CHOOSE not to believe God, His Word, or His instructions and for those people their final day of judgement will come in which all decisions will be final. We will all face that day but all believers of Jesus Christ will be seen by God through the cleansing blood of Jesus and be ushered into heaven. God will be grieved by those who do not choose Him….but they will have been warned, wooed, beckoned, to come to Him and had every possible chance to choose Him…but refuse…and on the final “day of The Lord” judgement will come.
It is a tough message to fully digest, but I believe in what the Bible says..from Genesis to Revelation….even if I can’t totally explain it all. It truly is a book of love..a love so pure that it will forever change us here on earth and give us eternal salvation. If you have children, work with children, or just love children you know some listen and do exactly what you ask. Then there are children who have a very strong will…determined to do things their way. And some children choose at all costs to do things the hard way and all we can do is pray for them. I see some of the hard parts of God’s Word being very strong to show each of us there are consequences to all of our actions……and in some cases eternal consequences.
Joel, in Hebrew Yo’el, means “Yahweh is God”. As we see the purpose of judgment is for God to show that He is the Lord of Lords. He is the One and ONLY God. You might want to read that again….there is even a purpose in God’s judgement…..which is to show us all that HE is The Lord OF LORDS….and there is NO other.
God uses His army, the swarm of locusts, to strip bare the fields. This is a foreshadow of the Coming Day of the Lord. In light of this, the book also calls the people to repentance and gives God’s people hope for the coming day of Salvation. We see in 2:28 a spiritual outpouring and in 32 it says:
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Yesterday we ended Ezekiel with “The Lord is there (in the city of Jerusalem)”. And today we end Joel with a picture of the restoration….total restoration and the final sentence is “The Lord dwells in Zion.” Definitely about hope, restoration, and love.
Sharing HIS love,
Tomorrow we will read the book of Joel.
The Book of Joel states that its author was the Prophet Joel (Joel 1:1). Scholars believe this book was between 835 and 800 B.C although no kings are mentioned in the writing making it a challenge for the precise years to be determined. Joel means “Jehovah is God or Lord is my God”.
As we read we will see the land has just been devoured by swarm of locusts, leaving nothing green to eat. Joel is speaking to Judah. Once again he is calling them to repent and return to God. He believed the famine happened because of their sin, and God had this occur as their judgment.
Joel is highlighted by two major events. One is the invasion of locusts and the other the outpouring of the Spirit. We will read about the invasion of the locusts. Joel uses these happenings as the catalyst to send words of warning to Judah. Unless the people repent quickly and completely, enemy armies will devour the land as did the natural elements. Joel appeals to all the people and the priests of the land to fast and humble themselves as they seek God’s forgiveness. If they will respond, there will be renewed material and spiritual blessings for the nation. But the Day of the Lord is coming. At this time the dreaded locusts will seem as gnats in comparison, as all nations receive His judgment.
The initial fulfillment of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is quoted by Peter in Acts 2 as having taken place at Pentecost.
Key verses from Joel are Joel 2:25 & 28: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten……”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.”
So how can the words in Joel mean anything to us today?? Whenever the Old Testament speaks of judgment for sin (individual or national sin), the advent of Jesus Christ is foreshadowed. The prophets of the Old Testament continually warned Israel to repent, but even when they did, their repentance was limited to law-keeping and works (rituals). Their temple sacrifices were a mere shadow of the ultimate sacrifice, JESUS….offered once for all time, which would come at the cross (Hebrews 10:10). Joel tells us that God’s ultimate judgment will be “great and terrible. Who can endure it?” (Joel 2:11). The answer is that we, on our own, can never endure such a moment. But if we have placed our faith in Christ for atonement of our sins, we have nothing to fear from the Day of Judgment.
I have many favorite verses from Joel that are very applicable In my life. I cling to these verses in challenging times. I find great comfort in the promises and am ever so grateful that because I have chosen Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior…will be spared from the final judgement. God desires that we all are spared from this; however, if Anyone does not choose Him then there will be a final judgement. As I mentioned before…..NONE OF US can save ourselves regardless of how “kind” our actions may be. There is ONLY ONE way to be saved and John 3:16 tells us that “For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY son for WHOSOEVER would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” I don’t care who you are or what you have done or what you are going through…..you and me are WHOSOEVERs! We have been given an awesome chance to line ourselves up with God so much that we agree with Him. We acknowledge that the sins of the world are wrong and we can change to His standards not our own. HOW do we do that? I’m so glad you asked…… be in your Bible. His words will pierce our heart and change us forever. Check out Romans 12:1-2.
Sharing HIS LOVE,