Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel
Summary of Joel:
Joel is a Narrative and Prophetic source of wisdom. The prophet Joel wrote the book around 841-835 B.C. sometime before the fall and exiles of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The book discusses Joel himself, and the people of Judah. Its purpose was to call the Southern Kingdom to repentance or prepare for the coming judgment and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
• In chapter 1: Joel compares the destruction and judgment of God like a plague of locusts. This is the warning and penalty for disobedience and evilness.
• In chapters 2-3: God calls His people to repent and return, if not, they will all be judged. The promise and deliverance of the Lord is given. He will restore the land and his people.
Chapter 1: Gather the House of the Lord
The word of the Lord came to Joel, who was the son of Pethuel. A plague of locusts come upon Judah:
“That which the palmerworm [the larva of a tineid moth] hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm [the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths] eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left the caterpillar eaten” (Joel 1:4).
The drunkards weep, because the nation of locusts has laid waste of the vine. Everything has withered. There can be no grain or drink offering to offset the Lord’s anger. Joel urges the people to repent with wailing, sackcloth and a fast. The rivers have dried up, and the animals suffer in the drought.
Chapter 2: The Second Coming
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain… for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is night at hand;” (Joel 2:1)
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is described as a day of darkness and gloominess, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. In the last days you will see a land like the Garden of Eden before you and a desolate wilderness behind you.
“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:” (Joel 2:10) The Lord, however, gives voice before His army. He commands the people; “…turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evils.” (Joel 2:12-13)
The Lord will be zealous for His land, and pity His people, removing the northern army to a barren and desolate land. The Lord will pour out His Spirit on all flesh;
“Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things….I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten… And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God… my people shall never be ashamed.” (Joel 2:21;25-26) The Lord will restore that which is taken away from man in this life. He will also bless those who love and praise His name. In the last days, when Jesus comes for the Second time, those who are righteous shall be glad and should not fear His coming. At His Second Coming… Blood and fire and pillars of smoke will be seen; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.
Chapter 3: The Last Days at War
All nations, who have scattered and cast lots for the Lord’s people, will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and judged. God warns the nations that He will retaliate against those who have mistreated His people, and looted His gold and silver. The nations must prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. The sun and the moon will go dark and the stars will cease to give light.