APPROPRIATE GOD’S MERCY
Joel 1:1-3:21 June 3 2007
In Joel’s day the people of Judah did not take
seriously God’s attitude toward sin. They thought
they were safe from judgment because they were
Abraham’s descendants. God called Joel to prophesy
to the people of Judah – to warn them of God’
judgment and to urge them to repent and turn to
God revealed to Joel the locust plague and the drought
were His judgment on Judah’s sin (Joel 1:1-20).
God would send that army against His people just a He
had send the Locust Plague , also would be a judgment
on Judah’s sin (Joel 2:1-11).
If the people repented , He would have mercy on them
and deliver them from further judgment ( Joel 2:12-17).
The presence of the Holy Spirit would be a sign of God’s
favor on them and of their continued relationship with
Him (Joel 2:18-32).
God would bring every nation to judgment for all the
wrong they had done, especially all they had done
against His people (Joel 3:1-21).
1. Regard God’s Warnings (Joel 1:15-16)
Joel 1:15 Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is
near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
1:16 Has not the food been cut off before our very
eyes — joy and gladness from the house of our God?
Day of the Lord. This phrase occurs five times in
Joel and is the dominant theme (here; Joel 2:1;
2:11; 2:31; 3:14). Six other prophets also use it:
(Isaiah 13:6,9), (Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3), (Amos 5:18,20),
(Obadiah 15), (Zephaniah 1:7,14) and (Malachi 4:5);
and an equivalent expression occurs in (Zec 14:1).
Sometimes abbreviated as “that day,” the term often
refers to the decisive intervention of God in history,
such as through the invasion of locusts in Joel or at
the battle of Carchemish, 605 B.C. ( Jer 46:2,10). It
can also refer to Christ’s coming to consummate
history (Mal 4:5; Matt 11:24; 1Con. 5:5; 2Con. 1:14;
1Th 5:2; 2Pet. 3:10). When the term is not used for
divine judgments in the midst of history, it refers
to the final day of the Lord, which generally has two
aspects: (1) God’s triumph over and punishment of his
enemies and (2) his granting of rest (security) and
blessing to his people. Destruction. . . Almighty. The
Hebrew for each of these two words is a pun on the
other as in( Isa 13:6).
The description of a drought in (Jer 14:5-6). Moan.
The Hebrew for this word is used for the groaning of
Israel in Egypt (Ex 2:23) and of others in distress
(Pr 29:2; Isa 24:7; La 1:4,8,11,21; Eze 9:4; 21:12). Mill
about. The Hebrew for this verb is used to describe
Israel’s confused movements in the desert (Ex 14:3).
Even. . . Sheep. Sheep are the last to suffer, because
they can even grub the grass roots out of the soil.
Fire (Joel 1:19-20) . Although the destruction caused
by the locusts is elsewhere compared to that of a fire
(Joel 2:3), here the prophet likely is describing the
effects of a drought. In both cases he evokes the fire
of God’s judgment ( Jer 4:4; 15:14; 17:27; Eze 5:4;
15:6-7; 20:47; 21:32; Hos 8:14; Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14;
2. Respond to God’s Invitation (Joel 2:12-13)
Joel 2:12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, return to me
with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and
mourning.” 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and
compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and
he relents from sending calamity.
Gracious. . . Abounding in love. Recalls the great
self-characterization of God in Ex 34:6-7, which runs
like a golden thread through the OT ( Ex 34:6-7;
Deut 4:31; Mic 7:18).
Trumpet. Not an alarm as in (Joel 2:1), but a call to
religious assembly Lev 23:24; 25:9; Nu 10:10; Jos 6:4-5;
2Ch 15:14; Ps 47:5; 81:3; 98:6; 150:3). Fast. . . Assembly.
3. Rejoice in God’s Promise (Joel 2:18,25-32)
Joel 2:18 Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and
take pity on his people. 2:25 “I will repay you for the years
the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young
locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great
army that I sent among you. 2:26 You will have plenty to eat,
until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD
your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will
my people be shamed. 2:27 Then you will know that I am in
Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed. 2:28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and
daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions. 2:29 Even on my servants,
both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
2:30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke. 2:31 The sun will be
turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 2:32 And everyone
who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount
Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD
has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
Joel begins a new section by turning from the destruction
caused by the locusts to the blessings God will give to a
repentant people. Jealous. ( Ex 20:5). The Lord will respond
to the prayer of (Joel2:17) and arouse himself to defend
his honor and have pity on his people. ( Joel1:4).
Wonders. God worked wonders for the people when they
were in Egypt (Ex 7:3), and now will work wonders in
restoring the devastated land.
Israe. Probably refers to all God’s people, with no
distinction between the northern and southern kingdoms,
as also in (Joel 3:2,16). I am the Lord your God. This clause
recalls the covenant at Sinai (Ex 20:2). There is no other.
( Deut 4:35).
(Joel 2:28-32) Quoted by Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21),
but with a few variations from both the Hebrew text and
the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT). (Joel 2:28)
Afterward. In the Messianic period, beyond the restoration
just spoken of. Pour out my spirit. (Joel2: 29; Isa 32:15;
44:3; Jer 31:33-34; Eze 36:26-27; 39:29; Zec 12:10-13:1).
All people . All will participate without regard to sex, age
or rank; and then Moses’ wish (Nu 11:29) will be realized
(Gal 3:28). Peter extends the “all” of this verse and the
“everyone” of (Joel2:32) to the Gentiles (“all who are far
off,” Acts 2:39), who will not be excluded from the Spirit’s
outpouring or deliverance ( Ro 11:11-24). Prophesy. . . Dream
dreams. . . See visions. (Nu 12:6).
(Joel 2:30-31) These cosmic events are often associated
with the day of the Lord (Isa 13:9-10; 34:4; Matt 24:29;
Rev 6:12; 8:8-9; 9:1-19; 14:14-20; 16:4,8-9). (Joel 2:30)
Blood. From war. Fire. . . Smoke. Signs of God’s presence
( Gen 15:17 ; Ex 19:18). The moon will become blood-red.
Calls on the name of the Lord. Worships God (Gen 4:26;
12:8) and prays to him ( Ps 116:4). Delivered from the
wrath of God’s judgment ( Matt 24:13). As the Lord has
said. Perhaps Joel is recalling the Lord’s covenant with
David (2Sam 7; Ps 132:13-18). Survivors. ( Zec 13:8-9;14:2).
Joel , Possible dates are before the exile around the
time of Joash’s reign (836-796 B.C.) or after the exile
(500-400 B.C.). The early date is preferred.
Joel means "The Lord is God." Not much is known about
him. He probably lived in Jerusalem.
A severe locust plague ravaged Judah . Joel saw in this
plague a harbinger of the coming Day of the Lord: a day of
judgment on sin by an invading army and deliverance of
those who repented.
Joel emphasized Judah’s need to repent and appropriate