Things to consider when reading the bible;
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there an example to follow?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a principle to follow?
Thoughts to consider
- All we know about Joel is that he was the son of Pethuel. He was most likely from Judah and Jerusalem. The dates he wrote this are debated, although the common consensus is around 586BC for four reasons; 1. The exile has already happened, 2. Jerusalem has already been conquered, 3. No king mentioned, 4. The temple plays a positive role. The “day of the Lord” is the dominant theme of Joel. Joel calls all the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem to lament during a time of national calamity. The land has been devastated by a swarm of locusts that have destroyed all in their path.
- Chapter one describes the utter desolation of the locusts and chapter two compares it to the Lords army, whether this is God’s people or an army he uses is unclear, but they are frightening!
- From verse 12 of chapter 2 it calls the people to repent and return for the Lord is “Gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (v13)
- The rest of the chapter has some amazing promises that God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten (v25), that He will pour out His spirit on all flesh (v28-29) and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (v32)
- Chapter 3 reminds me very much of the end of Revelation, where God gathers the nations in judgement. No-one will escape, we will all be there. In verse 14 it talks about the valley of decision. God is the only one who will be making a decision then, because for all else it will be too late. We can freely make decisions now, so let’s make good ones to follow Him and do what is right. Why not commit your way to Him today?