Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old Testament survey (29): Joel

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten. (Joel 1:4)

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. (Joel 2:25-27)

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (Joel 2:28-32)


[1] Joel, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

Joel’s theme is “the day of the LORD.” He makes specific reference to it five times: Joel 1:15; 2:1–2; 2:10–11; 2:30–31; and 3:14–16. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all refer to the Day of the Lord. Sometimes they call it “that day.” Zechariah particularly emphasizes “that day.” What is “that day”? It is the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Jehovah. Joel is the one who introduces the Day of the Lord in prophecy. Yonder from the mountaintop of the beginning of written prophecy, this man looked down through the centuries, seeing further than any other prophet saw—he saw the Day of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord is a technical expression in Scripture which is fraught with meaning. It includes the millennial kingdom which will come at the second coming of Christ, but Joel is going to make it very clear to us that it begins with the Great Tribulation period, the time of great trouble. If you want to set a boundary or parenthesis at the end of the Day of the Lord, it would be the end of the Millennium when the Lord Jesus puts down all unrighteousness and establishes His eternal Kingdom here upon the earth.

The Day of the Lord is also an expression that is peculiar to the prophets of the Old Testament. It does not include the period when the church is in the world, because none of the prophets spoke about a group of people who would be called out from among the Gentiles, the nation Israel, and all the tribes of the earth, to be brought into one great body called the church which would be raptured out of this world. The prophets neither spoke nor wrote about the church. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Joel, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
A terrible plague of locusts is followed by a severe famine throughout the land. Joel uses these happenings as the catalyst to send words of warning to Judah. Unless the people repent quickly and completely, enemy armies will devour the land as did the natural elements. Joel appeals to all the people and the priests of the land to fast and humble themselves as they seek God's forgiveness. If they will respond, there will be renewed material and spiritual blessings for the nation. But the Day of the Lord is coming. At this time the dreaded locusts will seem as gnats in comparison, as all nations receive His judgment.

The overriding theme of the book of Joel is the Day of the Lord, a day of God’s wrath and judgment. This is the Day in which God reveals His attributes of wrath, power and holiness, and it is a terrifying day to His enemies. In the first chapter, the Day of the Lord is experienced historically by the plague of locusts upon the land. Joel 2:1-17 is a transitional chapter in which Joel uses the metaphor of the locust plague and drought to renew a call to repentance. Joel 2:18-3:21 describes the Day of the Lord in eschatological terms and answers the call to repentance with prophecies of physical restoration (Joel 2:21-27), spiritual restoration (Joel 2:28-32), and national restoration (Joel 3:1-21). Read the complete article
[3] Joel, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Joel, a prophet of Judah, probably exercised his ministry during the reign of Joash (2 Chronicle 22 to 24). In his youth he may have known Elijah, and he certainly was a contemporary of Elisha. The plagues of insects, which were the token of the divine chastening, give occasion for the unveiling of the coming "day of the Lord" (Isaiah 2:12, refs.), in its two aspects of judgment on the Gentiles and blessing for Israel.

Joel is in three chief parts:

1. The plague of insects, Joel 1:1-20.
2. The day of the Lord, Joel 2:1-3:8.
3. Retrospect of the day of the Lord, and full kingdom blessing, Joel 3:9-21.
[4] Repentance And Restoration Contrasted With The Devastation Of The Coming Day Of The Lord, by Paul G. Apple
Both the book of Hosea and the book of Joel provide solid support for the dispensational position of maintaining a distinction between God’s program for Israel and God’s program for the church. How does a passage like Isaiah 49:14-15 fit into an amillennial perspective? Edward Young comments: “Even though the forces of infidelity and unbelief, of indifference and ignorance, may attempt to overthrow the Church, yet God is with her, for she is ever before His eyes.” That view really waters down the impact of Hosea where God restores His adulterous people to the covenant relationship. In Joel we are going to see more of the details of God’s program for Israel as it relates to the coming Day of the Lord. (Read the complete article)

[1] The expression “The day of the LORD” appears five times in Joel 1:15; 2:1–2, 10–11; 2:30–31; and 3:14–16.

[2] “Palmer worm” (gazam) means to gnaw off; “Locust” (arbeh) means to be many or migratory; “Cankerworm” (yeleq) means to lick off; “Caterpillar” (chasil) means to devour or consume.

Some expositors interpret these words as describing four stages of the development of the caterpillar, while others consider them to be four different kinds of insects. On many occasions, locusts devastated large portions of the earth. The island of Cyprus was stripped by locusts for 250 years. The Israelite was permitted to eat locusts (Leviticus 11:22). Locusts were sent as a judgment from God (see Deuteronomy 28:38-42; 1 Kings 8:37). In Revelation 9:1-12 is the final fulfillment of locusts. (from J. Vernon McGee)

[3] Book Of Joel (from Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
Joel was probably a resident in Judah, as his commission was to that people. He makes frequent mention of Judah and Jerusalem (Joel 1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21).

He probably flourished in the reign of Uzziah (about B.C. 800), and was contemporary with Amos and Isaiah.

The contents of this book are, (1.) A prophecy of a great public calamity then impending over the land, consisting of a want of water and an extraordinary plague of locusts (Joel 1:1-2:11). (2.) The prophet then calls on his countrymen to repent and to turn to God, assuring them of his readiness to forgive (Joel 2:12-17), and foretelling the restoration of the land to its accustomed fruitfulness (Joel 2:18-26). (3.) Then follows a Messianic prophecy, quoted by Peter (Acts 2:39). (4.) Finally, the prophet foretells portents and judgments as destined to fall on the enemies of God (Joel 3, but in the Hebrew text 4).
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Joel: Introduction, Outline, and Argument, by Tom Hawkins (available in PDF)

[2] An Argument of the Book of Joel, by David Malick (available in PDF)

[3] Joel, by Hampton Keathley IV (available in PDF)

[4] The Book of Joel, by Imanuel Christian (available in PDF)

Sermons on Joel (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee AR

[2] Sermons by Rev. Chris Harbin, Rocks Baptist Church - Pamplin, VA, from Central Baptist Church - Lowesville
[4] Weathering the Storms of Life, by Stephen J Feild

[5] The God who loves to relent, by Andreas Karstad

[6] God’s Prophetic Promise - The Holy Spirit, by Noel Sterne

[7] Joel 1:1-3:21 – God’s Mercy, by Eddie Steetle

[8] Joel 2 Fasting for those Far Away, by Rev. Wilbur D. Winborne Sr.

[9] Joel 3, by Paul Hawkins

[10] The Flow Factor, by Edward Sermon

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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