1. Joel is the second of the minor prophets that we want to discuss with you.
2. We have already studied the Book of Jonah.
3. Certainly we are not saying that we are going to interpret all figurative language of these prophets.
4. But we are going to try to help you have a better understanding of the teaching therein.
I. THE NAME JOEL MEANS "JEHOVAH IS GOD".
HE IS THE SON OF PETHUEL.
A. He was a prophet of Judah and prophesied, seemingly, about 770 B. C. or 830 B. C.
B. Joel himself was no doubt the author of the entire book that bears his name.
C. The book can be divided into two different parts:
1. The Plague of Locusts.
2. The Blessing and Judgment of the Lord.
D. Embodied within the book is a prophecy of the Messianic age, when the Spirit of God is poured out upon all flesh. Acts 2:16-21.
E. Joel's purpose is to warn the nation of the need for humility and repentance and the certainty of coming judgment.
F. There are many lessons in this book that can apply to us today.
II. GOD'S MESSAGE. Ch. 1:1-4.
A. It was terrible, plague was to succeed plague.
B. It was unprecedented. "Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?"
C. It was ever to be remembered. "Tell ye your children of it."
III. THE HEARERS.
A. Old men. "Hear this, ye old men".
B. All the inhabitants of the land.
C. Children of another generation.
IV. THE PURPOSE.
A. To show that God watches over men's conduct.
B. That God directs the events of history.
C. That God warns men of their danger. "That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments."
V. NATIONAL CALAMITY BY SMALL CREATURES.
A. The locust, the palmer-worm, the canker-worm and the caterpillar seem to be different stages of the locust.
B. Dr. Thompson, says, "In every stage of their existence, these locusts give a most impressive view of the power of God to punish a wicked world."
VI. DRUNKARDS FRUSTRATE THE DESIGN OF NATURE. Vss. 5-7.
A. They misuse the plants, the grain and the fruit. They have liquor in mind.
VII. DRUNKARDS RENDER THEMSELVES INSENSIBLE TO DANGER.
VIII. DRUNKARDS WILL BE ROUSED FROM THEIR SOTTISH SLUMBER.
A. "For it is cut off from your mouth." One said, "Take away my wine, you take away my life."
B. Someone said: "A wilfull waste will bring a woeful want."
IX. THE NATIONAL LAMENTATION. vss. 8-12.
A. The character of this lamentation. "Like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth."
B. The reason of this lamentation.
1. The land is devastated. "The field is wasted, the land mourneth: for the corn is wasted."
2. The temple was forsaken. No sacrifices to sacrifice.
C. The extent of this lamentation.
1. The priests mourned.
2. The nation mourned. "In that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth."
X. DISAPPOINTED HUSBANDMEN.
A. Husbandmen and vine-dressers, pale and sick in disappointed toils.
B. Wasted labor. "The harvest of the field is perished."
C. Withered joy. "Because joy is withered away."
XI. A CALL FOR PRIESTS TO MOURN. vss. 13,14.
A. They must mourn for sin.
1. Mourn in sackcloth. "gird yourselves."
2. Mourn continually. "Come, lie all night in sackcloth."
3. Mourn with others.
B. They must sanctify a fast. "Sanctify ye a fast."
1. Universal cessation from labor.
2. Universal worship.
3. Universal supplication and prayer. "And cry unto the Lord."
XII. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT; THE TERRIBLE DAY. vss. 15-20.
A. This day is a day of terror.
1. Because of the evils that attend it.
2. Because of the evils which it predicts. "As a destruction from the Almighty shall it come."
B. This day is near. "The day of the Lord is at hand."
C. This day should be regarded by all men. "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety: then destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape." He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." "For we must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ."
I. THIS CHAPTER STILL URGES REPENTANCE, DIRECTS FOR A MEETING OF THE PEOPLE, AND ASSURES THAT GOD WILL HAVE COMPASSION.
II. THE ALARM IN ZION. vss. 1-3.
A. The place of alarm. "In Zion".
B. The means of the alarm. "Blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head."
C. The reasons for alarm. "For the day of the Lord cometh."
1. The danger is near. "Nigh at hand."
2. The people are careless.
III. THE ARMY OF THE LORD. vss. 4-11.
A. Numerous and strong.
B. Courageous and swift. "As the appearance of horses: and as horsemen so shall they run." "The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses running to battle." Rev. 9:7,9.
C. Universal and ill-omened. "As a morning spread upon the mountains." Like dawn ushering in a day of darkness and gloom.
D. Orderly and well-equipped. "Neither shall one thrust the other."
E. Terrible and destructive.
1. The land is desolated. "Yea, and nothing shall escape them." "Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate."
2. The inhabitants are alarmed. "Before their face the people shall be much pained, all faces shall gather blackness."
IV. TIME FOR REPENTANCE. vss. 12-14.
A. The design of chastisement is not destruction but salvation.
B. The nature of repentance. "Turn ye even to me."
1. It is a return to God.
2. It is a sincere return. "rend your heart and not your garments."
3. It is a sorrowful return. "With fasting, and with weeping, and with mourn- ing."
C. Its motive. "For he is gracious and merciful."
1. God is gracious and merciful.
2. God is slow to anger and of great kindness. "Despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
D. It's necessity. "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."
E. It possibility. "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts."
V. A CALL FOR PUBLIC REPENTANCE. vss. 15-17.
A. Once more a day must be set apart for the public fasting and humiliation. "Blow the trumpet in Zion."
B. Great national danger urged them to public assembly.
C. None of them was exempt from the call to public assembly. "Gather the people."
1. The aged must assemble.
2. Children must not be exempt. "Gather the children and those that suck the breasts."
3. The newly weds must obey the call. "Let the bridegroom go forth out of his chamber and the bride out of her closet."
D. National confession was the object of public assembly.
VI. RESTORATION OF BLESSINGS. vss. 18-20.
A. This restoration depends upon the sincere repentance of men.
B. Restoration springs from Divine pity and mercy.
C. Restoration was in rich variety.
1. Material blessings were restored. "I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith."
2. National reproach was removed. "I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen." Reproach is a sad thing for the people of God.
3. The mighty enemy was destroyed. "I will remove far off from you the northern army.
D. The excellent condition of restored sinners.
1. Enemies subdued.
2. Abundance enjoyed.
3. Blessings restored.
VII. THE GREAT THINGS OF GOD. vss. 21-27.
A. The great temporal blessings. "The seed shall be prosperous, and the vine give her fruit; the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens their dew again." Zech. 8:12.
1. Abundant rain. "The heavens of Eden had become a desolate wilderness."
2. Fruitful seasons. "The pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength." " In that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
3. The granaries are replenished. "And the floors shall be full of wheat."
B. The great spiritual blessings. "And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel."
1. Restoration of national honor. A candlestick removed and replaced.
2. Manifestation of Divine presence. "Where two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."
3.Revival of national joy. "Be glad then, ye children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God."
a. Abundant crops and splendid seasons give uncertain gladness but the manifestation of God's presence is a source of pure and permanent joy.
4.Deliverance from national shame. "And my people shall never be ashamed>" "I am not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause."
VIII. THE NEW DISPENSATION FORETOLD. vss. 28-32. Acts 2:16-21.
A. The outpouring of the Spirit. "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh."
1. The extent of this pouring. "Upon all flesh".
a. Without distinction of sex. "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy."
b. Without distinction of age. "Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."
c. Without distinction of rank. "And also upon the servants and handmaidens.
B. Deliverance depends not upon the worshippers alone, but upon God also.
I. PUNISHMENT UPON THE PERSECUTORS OF GOD'S PEOPLE. vss. 1-3.
A. The cruel treatment of God's people.
1. They were robbed of their own land. "and parted my land."
2. They were scattered in other lands. "Whom they have scattered among the nations." "In the world ye shall have tribulations." "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." "But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name."
3. They were indignantly treated. "They have cast lots for my people."
a. They despised them.
b. They sold them as slaves.
B. The punishment of their enemies. "I will gather all nations."
1. The time is fixed. "In those days and in that time."
2. The place is fixed. "In the valley of Jehoshaphat." Jehoshaphat means the Lord hath judged. Jehovah judges.
II. RIGHTEOUS RECOMPENSE. vss. 4-13.
A. The sins of whcih they were guilty.
1. They sold the people as slaves in captivity.
2. They plundered the temple and palaces of the land.
3. They profaned the sacred things of God.
B. Divine recompense upon these people for their sins.
1. The retribution is declared unto them.
2. The retribution is in type as the sin committed. "And I shall sell your sons and your daughters into the land." "Rods that men make to smite others, shall smite themselves. "Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost."
3. Retribution with certainty. "For the Lord hath spoken."
4. Retribution with speed. "Swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense"
III. THE UNPROFANED CITY. vss. 14-21.
A. Its distinquished glory. "I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion."
1. It is the residence of God.
2. It is the permanent residence of God.
B. Its citizens are happy.
1. they are enriched because God is their portion.
2. They know and are associated with God as they never were before.
3. They are holy. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. " "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
C. It eternal security. "And there shall no strangers pass through her any more."
1. No foe to fear.
2. Nothing to defile. "There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth neither whatsoever maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
3. Nothing to corrupt or to decay. "The sun shall not smite by day, nor the moon by night." "Where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." "It is an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."
1. Many other things could be said about the Book of Joel, but this should suffice for now.
2. Many lessons should have been learned from this book.
3. These things are written for our learning.
4. Obey the Lord, even now.
by Jim Sasser
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