Summary: The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God", and we know very little about the author... a. The name appears frequently, with at least a dozen men sharing the name in the O.T. b. Described as "the son of Pethuel" (1:1), there is no reason to
"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"
Joel - The Day Of The Lord (1:1-2:27)
1. We now turn to the book of Joel, and this will be the first of two
2. The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God", and we know very little
about the author...
a. The name appears frequently, with at least a dozen men sharing
the name in the O.T.
b. Described as "the son of Pethuel" (1:1), there is no reason to
associate him with any other Joel mentioned in the Bible
[As we begin our study, let’s do so with some...]
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
A. THE DATE...
1. The date of the book is uncertain
a. Some place it as one of the earliest of the "literary
prophets" (ca. 900 B.C.)
b. Some believe it was written after the Exile (ca. 400 B.C.)
2. Hailey, Young, and other scholars defend the early date
a. Suggesting a date of 830 B.C.
b. Which is the date I am presuming for our study
B. THE OCCASION...
1. Joel’s prophecy was occasioned by a calamity that had struck
a. Literally, it is described as a locust plague
b. Some suggest that the locusts were symbolical of an army
that had invaded
2. I take the description of the plague as literal
C. THE MESSAGE...
1. Joel sees the locust plague as a warning from God
a. That the calamity was heralding "the day of the Lord" which
b. That if the people did not repent, this "day" would bring
even more destruction
2. So Joel’s message is "Seek the Lord through repentance!"
3. Joel also has some things to say about what shall come to pass
[With this brief background as an introduction, let’s now begin reading
the book with the aid of the following outline...]
II. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK (1:1-2:27)
A. THE LAND IS LAID WASTE (1:1-12)
1. Joel provides a graphic description of the locust plague (1-4)
2. He calls for people to weep over the devastation (5-12)
B. A PLEA TO CRY OUT TO THE LORD (1:13-20)
1. To be led by the priests, consecrating a fast and calling the
people together (13-14)
2. For the present destruction is heralding the coming "day of
the Lord" (15-18)
3. Joel and the beasts take the lead, with their own cry to the
C. THE COMING "DAY OF THE LORD" (2:1-11)
1. A cry to warn the people, for the day is coming! (1)
2. This particular "day of the Lord" is vividly described (2-11)
a. It will be a recurrence of the locust plague
b. Described as an invading army, an army led by God!
D. A CALL TO REPENTANCE (2:12-17)
1. Voiced first by God Himself (12)
2. Then elaborated upon by Joel (13-17)
a. Repent, for God Who is gracious may relent and provide a
b. Make it a national repentance, led by the priests
E. THE LORD’S PROMISE IF THERE IS REPENTANCE (2:18-20)
1. He will be zealous for His land, and show pity to the people
2. He will bless them with grain, wine, and oil (19)
3. He will remove the "army" (locusts) from the north (20)
F. A CALL TO COURAGE AND GLADNESS (2:21-24)
1. A call directed by Joel towards:
a. The land, for the Lord has done marvelous things (21)
b. The beasts of the field, for the pastures and trees are
fruitful once again (22)
c. The children of Zion, for the Lord is blessing the land
with rain and a full harvest (23-24)
2. This passage implies the people repented, and the Lord was
keeping His promise!
G. THE LORD’S REASSURANCE (2:25-27)
1. God will restore what His "army" (the locusts) had destroyed
2. They will be blessed with plenty, and praise God for His grace
3. Then they shall truly know that God is over them (27)
[This ends the first part of Joel’s prophecy. It clearly pertained to
the people of his day. The rest of the book looks forward to a period
described as "afterward" (2:28), "in those days and at that time"
(3:1), and "in that day" (3:18). This section we will examine in
our next lesson.
But from what we have read thus far, what lessons can we learn from
III. LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOEL
A. THE VALUE OF NATURAL CALAMITIES...
1. They can serve to turn men back to God
2. God certainly used them to reach out to His people in the O.T.
- cf. Am 4:6-12
3. But not all calamities come from God; some came from Satan
- cf. Job 1:6-19
4. Whether calamities come from God, Satan, or are purely
coincidental, they should be times of reflection concerning