Summary: Though Joel is a book of Judgment, it is also a book of Hope. In this book, God’s people are made to understand that even in the midst of divine judgment there is always hope if they will simply and humbly seek the Lord (2:12-13).
IT’S NOT TOO LATE!
Joel 2:12-13 “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
“repenteth” [nawkhàm] = grieves, to sorrow, sigh, mourn.
“the evil” [haaarah] = adversity, affliction, calamity, distress.
The nation of Judah is in trouble! They are experiencing a dreadful drought and a massive invasion of locusts (1:7-20). They’re under constant attack by their enemies (3:2ff). These events have left the land ruined and the people demoralized.
God is judging Judah. The specific sins of the nation are not named in this book, but a careful reading indicates that the people had slipped into a state of spiritual apathy concerning the things of God (2:13). God used the trials they faced as a nation to awaken the hearts of His people and to call them back to Himself.
Though Joel is a book of Judgment, it is also a book of Hope. In this book, God’s people are made to understand that even in the midst of divine judgment there is always hope if they will simply and humbly seek the Lord (2:12-13).
While this book was written to Judah, there’s a message here for us. We look at our nation and our world and we wonder what the future holds? We wonder if there is any hope for Revival?
These verses teach that there is hope! I want to preach on the subject – “It’s Not Too Late.” I want you to see that there is hope for our families, our churches and our nation. Please notice first…
#1. THE PROBLEM – Joel 1:1 – 2:11.
The nation of Judah was facing…
• Devastation – 1:4. One insect invasion after another ruined their crops. There was little food for the people.
• Destruction – 1:5-7. They faced invasion from neighboring nations. These armies destroyed their vineyards and orchards.
• Desolation – 1:8-13; 16-20. A severe drought afflicted the nation. There was no rain and crops were failing. The herds and wild animals perished because there was no water or pasture for them. Fires scorched the fields and forests. The root problem was…
• Divine Discipline – 1:14-15. None of these things were accidental, they were the result of the judgment of God. He was judging His people for their sins.
As I read about the judgment that had fallen on Judah, I am reminded of where our families, churches and nation are today.
There’s little doubt we’re facing the judgment of God in America.
Romans 1:18-32 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to unclean-ness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”