Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

TMP029/3 Joel

Text and Exposition

1.Joe1's present instructions,based on the locust plague.

Chapter 1:1-2:27.

A.The occasion.(ch.1:1-4).

Verses 1-4.In the first verse we have a description of Joel's family background,also Joel immediately reminds his readers that the message that he is bringing was given directly to him from the Lord. 'The Lord',here we have a testimony as to the origin of Joel's prophetic message Joel called all the elders of Judah to meet together so that the children of Isreal might give careful consideration to the meaning behind the plague of Locusts.
The meaning behind the diaster must be clearly understoo so that it could be taught to future generations.

In verse 4,there are four different Hebrews words used to describe the word' Locust'; these words are used to reveal how intense the plague really was;it would also seem that there was four swarms of locusts.

These four invasions of locusts may have some relationship with the four types of judgement which are mentioned in Jeremiah 15:3,and also in Ezek.14:21,& Amos 4:9.Amos 4:9 also records the devastation which was left behind after the plague of locusts. According to Joel this was God's judgement on Judah.(2:25).

B.The instructions based on the Locust plague.(1:5-2:27).

Bl.Warnings in the light of the present crisis.(1:5-20).

(a)Joel's plea for penitence.(1:5-13).

A warning to the pleasure seekers.(1:5-10).

verse 5-7.Joel's obvious concern for his people Judah is clearly seen in these verses,he desires that the elders
interpretate the underlying reasons behind the plague,also the planned purposes of Yahweh for His children. The nation according to Joel was being judged for its idolatry and sinfulness,but there was still time for repentance and still an opportunity to call on the name of the Lord.

It would seem that the nation only lived for pleasure seeking, in the light of this Joel warns three classes of people, firstly the general public (5-10), secondly the husband men (11-12) and thirdly the priests (13).It would seem that prosperity
brought gross sin.

Although Judah had a basic concern for spiritual things,they could not overcome their base desires.In verse five joel calls the people to waken up out of their stuppor and see the moral degradation of the nation. Spiritually,morally,and socailly the nation had been totally corrupted through prosperity.The nation committed spiritual harlotary (Hosea 4:1119,7:13-14),wine had been the cause of Judahs downfall,so in ch.2:6-8,wine is listed as a social evil.Wine in itself was not condemned but the misuse of wine which led to drunkenness,debauchery and the loss of spiritual awareness.

Joel's mesage to the people of Judah was in many ways similar to that which was preached by Isaiah in chapters 5:11-12,22,22:13 28:1,7,56:12 and also in Micah 2:11.The cause of `their sin had been completely devastated by the plague of Locusts. Because of Judah's drunkenness,God sent the locusts to destroy their vineyards.The fig and vine trees had always been a symbol of God's goodness to the nation.(Hosea 2:12,Amos 4:9 Micah 4:4 & I kings 4:25 etc. So Joel pointed out to the children of Judah their sinfulness and called them to repent.

Verses 8-10.Joel reminded the people that it was more important that they would grieve over their Spiritual condition
as opposed to grieving over their economic loss. Joel likend them to a virgin who was mourning because she had lost her intended husband just before the wedding, likewise Judah must mourn over the loss of their vital spiritual experiences.

This economic disaster that the children of Judah were facing had spiritual repercussions, for example, if the locust plague had destroyed the harvest, it simply meant that the people could not offer the 'daily sacrifices' such as the burnt offerings.
These offerings symbolised 'dedication of life',the meal offering indicated a conscious joy in the heart of the believer as he serves the Lord. While the sacrifical system had been carried out, it had deteriated into a drunken orgy,were the participants ended up worshipping Baal. (Hosea 2:5,Amos 2:8). The ability to sacrifice had been cut off, they, that is Judah had broken their covenant with Yahweh and so a spiritual crisis loomed.

In verse 9 we read that the priests had gone into mourning because the crops were destroyed,so that the elements that the priests needed for sacrifices were no more. The corn, oil and wine had been destroyed completely, these crops were considered by Judah as indicating the blessings of God. (Numbers 18: 12, Deut. 7: 13, 11:14, 28:51, 2 kings 18: 32, Jer. 31: 12, Joel 2:19,Hag.1:11. So the pleasure seekers of Judah had been well warned. A warning to Farmers. (chapter 1:11-12).

Verses 11-12. In these two verses Joel speaks directly to the farmers, he uses words like `despair`, wail & disappointments` as words that should describe the feelings of these farmers

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