Painting by Abraham Hunter –

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekly Recap #38 - (Part 2) Joel

Joel was a "minor" prophet in the Old Testament....here are some facts about him:

***His name means "Jehovah is witness"
***It's not known the time frame when Joel lived and prophesied - one reason is because his book doesn't list the kings under whom he was a prophet
***He spoke often of priests and their duties....so many scholars think he may  have been a Temple prophet

The book of Joel is only 3 chapters long....but is divided into 2 major sections...
1) Joel speaks about the need to turn from sin
2) God speaks warning His people about the approaching day of judgment and assures His abiding presence in spite of how unworthy the people were

The Book of Joel tells about the invasion of locusts.  He teaches that the Lord may use a natural disaster to stir in His people a renewed awareness of His will.

Chapter 1 - Joel describes the destruction caused by the plague of locusts.  There was no grain or wine to offer at the Temple because of the total devastation of the crops.  The priests were in mourning and weeping.  The grapevines had dried up and the fig trees had withered.  All the fruit trees had dried up, too, and the peo0ple's joy had dried up along with the crops.  Joel instructed the priests to dress in burlap and mourn.  The grain crops were failing - the barns were empty - and even the animals were going hungry.  The streams had dried up.  

Chapter 2 - As I began reading Chapter 2....I thought that it should have actually been Chapter 1 because it was a description of what the approaching locusts and the devastation they caused....and Chapter 1 was after the invasion of the locusts.  As I did a bit of research, some Bible scholars see Chapter 2 as a description of the coming Day of the Lord - a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and blackness.  Here is part of Joel's description....
Suddenly a great and mighty army of locusts appeared....ahead of them the land was as beautiful as the Garden of Eden....but behind them, only desolation.  They were very loud - like a mighty army moving into battle.  Everybody was full of fear.  The sun and moon grew dark and the stars no longer shone.  This mighty army was following the Lord's orders.

Joel 2:12a - This is what the Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts."

In the beginning, Judah's future seemed to be in grave danger with plagues and drought, the signs of divine judgment....but Joel ended his message with Divine assurance that Judah and Jerusalem would endure thru all generations.  God's people in every generation can rest secure in the HOPE that His kingdom will reign over heaven and earth!!!

AMEN...and AMEN!!!

In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!

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