Summary: This brief study of Joel is intended to awaken the church to an understanding of prophetic literature and to prepare our hearts for the day in which we live (adapted from Joel Rosenberg’s Epicenter conference and Mike Bickle’s series on Joel).

Joel Pt4 A Call to Lament and Wail


The name of the prophet Joel means- the Lord is God.

The world in which we live is God’s world and God has a program and He does not answer to any man.

In Revelation- concerning the seventh trumpet blast-

Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

This is in essence the message of Joel-

kingdom of- world will become-Kingdom of God.

Joel 1


Natural plague- leads to economic disaster.

Laura Ingalls Wilder- On the banks of Plum Creek- locust plague- Pg 192-205

Locust plague- classic form of judgment in the Bible-

Egypt- 8th plague- locust plague (Ex 10.1-20)

Moses warned Israel- turn from God in- Promised Land- face locust plagues (Deut 28.15, 25, 38)

Rev 9.1-12- 5th trumpet- locust plague.

Today- see cataclysmic natural disasters increasing- how do we interpret these events?

Joel saw- events of his day- God’s judgment on sin.

At what point will God say to us- enough is enough?

Gen 6.5-7, 11-13 earth- corrupt/God- destroy it

God- distraught w/city- sent Jonah- warn of judgment-

Jon 1:2 (NASB) “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

How about the sin in our own lives? city? nation?

Do our prayers going up before God outweigh our sin?


Last week- saw-Lord warns various people of judgment-

elders, drunkards, virgins, bridegrooms

priests, farmers, vinedressers

What is coming will affect everyone in the land.

v1.5 (Rev 6.6)

The wine is cut off because- grape vines destroyed.

Drunkard- asleep/unaware of what is happening around them- totally focused/absorbed on their needs.

Today- substance abuse derailing- next generation.

Do we realize how drunk we are- illegal/legal drugs, entertainment, media, computer games, music?


Locust are like an army invading the land- also possible reference to coming invasion by Babylon- 586BC.

Our land has been invaded by-

pornography, alcohol, drugs,

generational hatred, racial prejudices,

unbelief, rise of secularism, atheism, humanism.


Locust- eat everything green/strip the bark off a tree.

Figs/fig trees- often symbols of Israel- God’s people.

Fig trees-stripped-picture of Israel’s spiritual barrenness

Certainly today much of the church is spiritually barren.

What can we do to turn around the spiritual barrenness of the church? Not be barren ourselves!

2 Tim 2:15 (NASB) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

Diligent- to hasten do something, to exert oneself.

Christianity is an active religion, not a passive one.


What can be more tragic than a bride losing her husband on their wedding day?- this is serious!

Marriage- covenant relationship between two people.

In a spiritual sense- Israel was in a covenant with God.

In a covenant the blessings are greatly multiplied as well as the curses for breaking that covenant.

Israel- violated their covenant- judgment was coming.

We are likewise in a covenant relationship w/God.

Have we violated our covenant- is judgment coming?

1 Pet 4:17 (NASB) For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

The solutions to the problems of our nation- begin w/us.

Joel is all about the relationship God wants with His people and the covenant He made with them.

Judgment brings pressure to cause us to pause and ask serious questions about our life.

Isaiah 26:9–10 (NASB) (Hos 2.6-7)

9At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

10Though the wicked is shown favor, He does not learn righteousness; He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness, And does not perceive the majesty of the Lord.

Problems help us make choices we should have made.


Grain and drink necessary to perform religious offerings.

This is also- religious disaster- church- in trouble today.

There is too much compromise in the church today.


Agricultural disaster- leads to weather extremes, etc.

Economic leaders-dismayed-means of support removed

It is so serious there is no joy in the hearts of people.


Priests- spiritual leaders- lead the nation in repentance.

God calls us to assemble because He delights- mercy-

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.

To lessen/avoid judgment- God is asking us to fast/pray- corporately- overall a pretty simple response.

What God is asking us to do is simple-

2 Chr 7.12-14

We have an opportunity- minimize-affects of judgement.

Joel-model of how-people should respond-God in crisis.

v1.14 (Gen 18.20-33)

God gives us 5 ways to respond- not a pick/choose list-

1. Consecrate a fast

Set aside times for corporate fasting- call to the church-

ask God for grace to fast.

2. Proclaim a solemn assembly

Private devotion important-not enough for-national crisis

God- looking for communities to gather together to pray.

Psa 133.1-3

There is a commanded blessing in the unity/agreement.

Place of greatest blessing geographically- where God’s people gather together in unity/wholeheartedness.

God- looking for a corporate response. (Ezek 14.14, Jer 15.1)

3. Gather the elders

Elders were both political leaders/spiritual leaders.

Today we have political leaders but we have so separated church and state that they do not see the importance of the spiritual nature of man.

Constitution- does not forbid applying spiritual truths to national problems-religion can influence government

4. Gather all the inhabitants

Judgment escapes no one- everyone called to respond.

Necessary to preach about both the good/bad aspects of- Gospel- give people- reason to gather together.

5. Cry out to God

To cry out to God is not to cry out for our agenda, but to come into agreement with His purposes.

These are times where together we must talk to God.


How do we prepare ourselves to respond to God?

1. Gird yourself

Gird yourself- remove everything that hinder us from gathering together for repentance and prayer.

This might mean changing- schedules, etc. (Lk 12.35-36)

2. A call to lament and wail

It is a call to connect w/God’s heart and those suffering.

We are not to be disconnected from-suffering in crisis.

Matt 5:4 (NASB95) “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

We are called to comfort/help others- Jesus hands/feet.

3. Put on sackcloth

Sackcloth is very uncomfortable to wear- it was not a call to discomfort, but a call to humility.

Priests had nice garments- spoke of their position- they had to lay them down- everyone- equal before God.

Zeph 2:3 (NASB) Seek the Lord, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.

We humble ourselves-crying for mercy/pray for- nation.

4. Spend the night before God

This speaks of the necessity to take extreme measures- change our plans/lives- to cry out to God.

The welfare of the people in our community lies in the hands of the church in our community.


Joel begins-attach- larger, future event to-locust plague.


Emotional breakdown- inconsolable grief for a nation.

A nation might recover from- locust calamity, but to be cut off from God leaves people w/o hope. (Isa 15, Lam 2)


There will be a horrific drought/famine in the land.

Animals will suffer- creation groans under sin of man.

There will be a horrific fire.


Peter exhorts- Jews (who crucified him)-

Acts 3:19 (NASB) “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Refreshing comes from God’s presence- we need to pursue God so we can experience His presence.

Just as Moses would not go into- Promised Land w/o the presence of God, we must not go on w/o it.

Moses pressed God-see His glory-so must we. (Ex 33.12-23)

Church Challenge

Jn 6:11 (NASB) Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.

Today, Jesus wants to give to us as much of His eternal life as we want and are willing to take a hold of.

Be careful not to limit God w/your unbelief, prejudices, or incomplete understanding of who God is.

This week- write down- what you are willing to do, in response to God’s Word- to take hold of all He has.

Altar Call

The God of- book of Joel is a God who loves mankind so intensely, He chose to become human himself.

God’s love for man is so great that Jesus died for us.

His love is stronger than death, the grave could not hold Him in the ground, and He was resurrected.

His resurrection brings the hope of eternal life-

God’s love is stronger than death.

That eternal life is available to anyone willing to believe-

Jn 1:12–13 12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Today is your opportunity to meet the Living God.