I have started a study in the Book of Joel and had some thoughts I wanted to share. I have read the book but never done an indepth study and I'll be the first to admit the prophet are ones I tend to be confused by. BUT I have started looking at the book in terms of Application and their Historical setting and that has helped out greatly.So far I have made it through chapter 1 and can summerize it simply with "If your relationship with God ceases, so does the blessings of that relationship" Joel is talking to a nation more or less the Southern part of Judah and when an entire nation turns its back on God blessing for that Nation are stopped. This for me has some pretty heavy implications for the United States. Joel is calling for repentance which is what we must do in order to see change. What we will see in the near future is complete devastation just like Judah eventually met but in Devastation comes Reform. God uses devastation as a wake up call to the sleeping bride.This all applies down to the individual level. If we are spiritually sleeping God will wake us in the most unpleasant of ways. I remember being a kid and my dad waking me up for school, he would dump water on my head, it was the most uncomfortable experience you could probably go through at 6:30 in the morning but I needed to wake up or I would never have gotten the education I have today. God wants us to take in all of Him and we can't do that sleeping so at times He wakes us up and its incredibly uncomfortable but it's always for our so that we can receive something far better.
(your quote): "What we will see in the near future is complete devastation just like Judah eventually met but in Devastation comes Reform. God uses devastation as a wake up call to the sleeping bride".Hi Matthew...Yes, so very true!One of my favorite quotes by Matthew Henry about Joel:"...those on whom the Spirit is poured out shall FORESEE and FORETELL that great and terrible Day of the Lord and expound the wonders in Heaven and earth that go before it. For, as to His 1st coming, so as to His 2nd coming--all the prophets did and do bear witness. The righteous are delivered from the terror of it. A way of escaping the wrath to come is found out and laid open."My little definition of a prophet is simply one who carries a burden in his/her heart that God Himself has placed there...and stands up to speak it out for the benefit of the church.Blessings on you as you also bear witness of it and speak it out......dj
I read Chapter two and here are my finding for it. The attacker mentioned in Chapter 2 is a nation from the north so likely Babylon. Their destructive power was so great anything behind them where they tread before was complete devastation and destruction making anything before them seem like a paradise like Eden. Eden can be viewed as "untouched" and from this I started drawing some parallels for the attackers, that is the Parallel of Sin, it touches the little Edens in our life and destroys them that is the Enemies intentions and that is its sole purpose to destroy you and your relationship with God.(2-6) Sin is powerful and unrelenting and it creeps in to your life however it can in anyway it can. And what's uncanny about it is, it doesn't stop it doesn't change course it has a lazer focus on destruction. (7-10) BUT, We have a strong man on our side and He has a vast army to take out the enemy in our lifes! What is required? Repentance, 100% genuine repentance even says "And Rend your heart and not your garments" A repentance that gets to your core the very center of yourself. And if you do this God not only fights with you and for you but he returns His blessings on you and you prosper spiritually. Need deliverance? Call on His name, rely on His strength, and it will be done for you. He is strong where we are weak! This is a really short book but to summarize Chapter 2 Sin will destroy you BUT God can deliver you.
I completed the final chapter of Joel and couldn't help but note the urgency of the message. The day of the Lord draws near. What happens in those days?1.Judgment on the Enemies of Israel2.Proclaimation of Battle3.The Undecided decide4.Restoration of Israel5.Destruction of the opposing nations1. God proclaims the Enemy will reap what they sowed2. God not only says I am going to war against the nations but you will as well, we are called to a battle against something and as Paul makes it clear we battle a spiritual battle. If we make peace with the enemy we forfiet the battle and we rest in a valley of undecision.3. There is a call for decision whose side do you want to be on? There is already a Multitude in the Valley of undecision, do you want to be among them?4. Israel is restored according to Joel, which historically could be true based on what time you place the book. Judah is eventually whiped out but then eventually restored later. 5. God is going to take out the obstacles that hinder his people, Sin being one of those obstacles He will not deal with it lightly and so those that love their sin and wish to stay in it will be dealt with rather harshly. There are some that feel that the Book of Joel has yet to be fullfilled and is a book of the "End Times" I honestly don't know but I do know the message is still relevant that there is a coming day that we need to prepare for, whether Joel is talking about the same one or not we must all be sure to make our decision and prepare for battle, because the battle is real and the stakes are real.If you have anything additional thoughts on the book of Joel I would love to hear them or read them :)
I am kind of hanging out in Joel because I think I am barely scratching the surface of this book I am asking the Lord reveal more to me as I dive in again. Feel free to join me I would love to hear or read your thoughts on the book.Back to chapter 1 something that I noticed was the urgency of Joel in the last 5 verses. He says the day of the Lord is near! and then proceeds to use the rest of the chapter to give evidence of this fact that the Day of the Lord is indeed near. Something else I noted was in verse 15 again The day of the Lord will come as "Destruction from the Almighty" To wake the people God came with destruction not comfort and rest. I think about this and find so much truth in this in my own life and as a father. This morning I had to wake me son up for school, at first I tried gently speaking his name, then I tried gently shaking him, and when that didn't work I removed his warm blanket removing his comfort, it worked he woke right up. God does this to us when we need to be woke up to some unknown fact and many times it's to our sin, we need to be aware of the sin in us because it ultimately hinders the relationship we have with God and if we confess it and repent relationship can be restored.
Reading chapter 2 again, and if you look at Chapter 2 you can see a shift in the direction of the entire book of Joel about half way through this chapter. So what happened? Israel goes from complete devastation to restoration? But How? Chapter 2 verse 12 "Yet even now," Declares the Lord, "Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning. 13. Rend your hearts! not your garments!"There is speculation as to whether or not Israel truly repented after this message was sent out depending on the time you place the Book of Joel because ultimately South Judah was eventually taken over by Babylon. A lot hinges on verse 11-16 in Chapter 2. And this applies to us today We must repent of we want Restoration, Celebration, Restitution and Sanctification for the Ultimate Glorification of God. Reading by verses and kind of ignoring the chapter markers you see that this book is split in almost two halves one half being the destruction should Israel not repent and the Restoration of Israel if it does repent. And this is the Valley of Decision so many still live in today.