Bible historians believe this book was written between the ninth and the sixth century, B.C., after Haggai and Zechariah.
Joel has linguistic parallels to Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The day of judgement from the Lord is upon them, or will come, due of their sins.
Joel 1:2-4- Hear this you elders; listen all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? 3- Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. 4- What the Locust swarm has left the great locust have eaten; what the great locust have left the young locust have eaten; what the young locust have left other locust have eaten.
5-6- Wake up you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips. 6- A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.
vs 9-10- Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the Lord. 10-The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.
A Call For Repentance
1:14-15- Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your Lord God, and cry out to the Lord. 15- Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
vs 19-20- To you, O Lord, I call for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. 20- Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pasture.
2:1- Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on the holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand.
A dreadful army of locust marches into the land. The lord is the head of the army.
vs 11- The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his commands. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?
vs 12-14- “Even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to me with all your hearts, with fasting and weeping and morning.” 13- Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14- Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.
vs 16- Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.
The Lord’s Answer
vs 18-Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. 19- The Lord will reply to them: “I am sending you grain, new wine, and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.
vs 20- I will drive the northern army far away from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go; its smell will rise.
The Day of The Lord
vs 28-30- 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. 29- Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30- I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth.
vs 32- And anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
The Nations Judged
3:1-“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
vs 2-3- I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgement against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my hand. 3- They cast lots for my people and traded my boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink.
3: 9- Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let the fighting men draw near and attack.
vs 13-14- Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepresses are full and the vats over flow—so great is their wickedness! 14- Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
Blessings For God’s People
vs 17 – Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.
vs 20-21- Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. 21- Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon. The Lord dwells in Zion!
I believe we should perceive Joel as written. The massive locust plagues, and severe drought, that devastated Judah were the great and dreaded, Day of the Lord. Some feel the locust and drought are symbolism for great armies; Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Romans.
As is common, restoration and blessings come only after judgement and repentance.
We can find this in our lives today. If the Lord judges us with sin in our lives, we must repent and rid our lives of the sin, otherwise, He will bring judgement.
God will remove from our lives whatever is causing us to sin. If we are stealing at work, we will lose the job. And yes, there may be serious legal consequences. God does not take sin lightly and neither should we.
If the sin is marriage infidelity, God will bring the affair into the light, to end it. Consequences be what they may?—perhaps severe.
Perhaps we are not sure about something we are doing. Is it a sin against God or a person? Read God’s Word. Seek Christian council. If the Holy Spirit is convicting us, it is sin. Stop doing it. Confess it and ask God for forgiveness. Then ask God to help to rid us of the cravings. He will do that for us. He wants to help us.
I pray that none of us are living a life of sin, thus vulnerable to God’s judgement,
Gary The Tested