Survey of the Bible - Joel
Text: Joel 2:1-11
I. Joel spoke during the days of King Joash of Judah
A. There are several Joels in the Bible, but the prophet Joel is not mentioned elsewhere.
B. Dating comes from:
1. The countries that Joel mentions as being prominent: Phoencia, Philistia, Egypt, and Edom. Philistia and Edom did not recover from the destructions of Assyria and Babylon.
2. Amos shares similar themes with Joel, making it likely to have been written at about the same time.
a. Joel 3:16 and Amos 1:2
b. Joel 3:18 and Amos 9:13
c. Amos was written during the reign of king Joash - Amos 1:1
C. Joash was the king, who as a child was hidden from his grandmother, Athaliah, when she staged a coupe on Judah at the death of her son Ahaziah.
1. Joash was a good king while his rescuer, the High Priest Jehoiada lived, but became wicked after Jehoiada died.
D. Joel means “Yahweh is God.” Joel’s book is about the sovereignty of God
II. The illustration - Joel 1
A. Joel tells of a natural disaster that would be hard to forget - Joel 1:1-3
B. A plague of locust has absolutely stripped Judah bare - Joel 1:4-7
1. Four different species left nothing behind.
C. It was so bad, there wasn’t even grain available for the grain offerings - Joel 1:8-13
1. People need to cry out to God for aid
D. As if things could not get worse, the locust invasion is followed by a drought - Joel 1:14-20
1. Again, there is a plea to cry out to God - Joel 1:14
2. Because “the day of the Lord,” a day of judgment is near - Joel 1:15
3. God has used natural calamities as reminders that we depend upon Him.
III. Application: the invasion of Judah - Joel 2:1-27
A. An army is coming of strength and destruction that is rarely seen on the earth - Joel 2:1-11
B. It is too late to avert this disaster, but if the people will repent, God will lessen the blow - Joel 2:12-17
1. It must be a repentance of the heart, not just an outward form - Joel 2:12-13
2. God is merciful - Jeremiah 18:7-8
C. Despite the devastation, God will remove the army - Joel 2:18-20
D. The land will be more productive and make up for the loses - Joel 2:21-27
1. Implies the people did repent
IV. A later time - Joel 2:28-3:21
A. The ultimate blessing will come later - Joel 2:28-29
1. Peter tells us that this was talking about the church - Acts 2:14-21
B. A greater judgment, the destruction of Jerusalem - Joel 2:30-31
C. But salvation would come to the survivors - Joel 2:32
1. Luke 24:46-47 - Salvation coming, starting at Jerusalem
2. Hebrews 12:22-24 - The church becomes the spiritual Jerusalem
V. God’s judgment on the invaders - Joel 3
A. God’s people were mistreated - Joel 3:1-3
B. Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia will not get aid because they sold out Israel - Joel 3:4-8
C. God judges the nations - Joel 3:9-21
1. Prepare for war and come to the valley of Jehoshaphat - Joel 3:9, 12
a. Jehoshaphat means “God shall judge”
2. There will be a great harvest from the nations - Joel 3:13-14
3. Again, a reference to salvation (a spring) coming from Jerusalem - Joel 3:18
VI. Elsewhere in the Bible
A. The imagery of the locust plague is used again in Revelation 9:1-11
B. There is a day of the Lord, which cannot be averted - II Peter 3:7-14