The Run Down
The Locust plague has come in Chapter 1.
A double figure of locusts and an army seem to be interwoven in Joel’s warnings.
Most probably, since a good dating of Joel is 790-740BC, the Assyrian army, is the real army interwoven in the prophetic threat.
His contemporaries are Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah, and Isaiah… all dealing with the same issues of prosperity, fake religious activity, forgetting God, impending judgment, and the Assyrians. Yet the Assyrian army and the current King are not specifically named in Joel.
Dated closely with Amos, that does date itself. Similar to time events of Israel during Hosea/Amos.
Kings Jeroboam II in Israel (Hosea) and Uzziah in Judah (Joel).
743 Assyrian western campaigns begin.
733BC attack Israel.
724BC siege capital of Samaria.
722BC capitulates… exile, Israel (northern k) is done.
2:1-13. The coming army.
Vs. 1 Blow the trumpet in Zion – the shofar.. used in religious ceremony and alarm for war.
Vs. 2 For the Day of the Lord is coming.
Let’s press this analogy of this religious horn a bit… bring it out of context to the present.
Do you have friends that are allowed to blow the trumpet of alarm in your life, that are willing to warn you that God’s discipline is going to come unless you turn from your sin?
To help you see, maybe the obvious or the not so obvious.
Do you regularly meet with a group that is spurring you own towards what God would have of you? To keep you accountable? To sound the alarm if need be?
Let’s not ignore in our own lives… the possibility for what we are studying in Joel’s day…
Could very well occur in us… where we are listening to the Lord… we aren’t telling of His works, we aren’t growing, or we are in sin,…. This is what has brought on the locust plague and the soon coming Assyrian army.
Joel will use the double figure of locusts and armies throughout.
How goofy it can be to study about forgiveness,… and not forgive
To feed the hungry and shelter the homeless… and not do it.
To studying sharing our faith… and yet never attempt it.
To read about warning trumpets… but not willing to hear of warning trumpets in our own lives….
Let’s continue to be students who apply what they learn.
All of this that follows… is about “The Day of the LORD”.
Wow… not such a message of power positive thinking… he’s coming to judge… and it’s not our enemies… it’s us.
This locust army, devastating in and of itself.. is only the precursor… the foreshadowing symbolic analogy of an even worse army that is coming… the Assyrians!
They are looming large and growing above this satiated, pride growing, God forgetting country… Judah.
Israel will actually be completely decimated… and Judah will all but be crushed… Jerusalem will not be taken ultimately by the Assyrians… but will be painful.
This interwoven movement where it seems at times words about the locusts and at times about the Assyrian army. Most thinking he’s purposefully prophetically using the locusts for the Assyrians. Current judgment, future judgment… to future future judgment.
Amos 5:18-20, why want the Day of the Lord.
Hyperbolic, apocalyptic language.
2:12-14 Plea to turn to the God of mercy.
Even now, at this point… when judgment has begun with the locusts… God says… even now… return to me… that is what He wants!
Vs. 12 With all our hearts.
Vs. 12 With fasting… weeping… mourning…
Does God have all our hearts.
Matt. 22:37-40. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. My people will worship me in spirit and in truth.
Vs. 13 Rend your heart… not your garments.
Don’t outwardly religiously respond… respond with your heart!
Romans 9:6 6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring,
Return to the Lord your God….
Vs. 13 Jonah 4:2 gracious, merciful, abounding, relents.
Isaiah 1:11-17. Contemporary. Same time. Calling for Israel to repent, quit being religious, and have true religion.
Then leave behind the ability to offer the religious offerings from a pure heart this time.
2:15-17 The cry of the faithful.
Blow, fast, assemble all, weep.
Where is their God?
What about with us… would people say this concerning our lives… do we represent God well?Is God transforming your life… as you are an ambassador of His.
Romans 2:21-24 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
2 Cor. 5:17-21 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2:18-27 The Response of God’s Pity.
If the people will repent… he will restore them!
Too bad so many don’t truly want to repent, then and now.
Vs. 20 Northern army – Assyria… then like locusts… which I read can pile up in lakes and lands and have an incredible stench.
Restoration. Land, beasts, children of Zion.
You will be filled… and you will Praise God for His wonders.
Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
2:28-32 The Lord Pours out His Spirit.
“Those days”… “the day of the Lord”…
Jesus picks up the apocalyptic language in Matt. 24:29…31.
Now Joel will move forward to an even more future day. Using apocalyptic language… and due to us knowing Peter will use this in a famous sermon Acts 2:17ff to explain a phenomenon.
The spirit will move on all types, classes, genders of people.
The beginning of the Last Days with Jesus… to Pentecost when the Spirit comes…
to the final days of the Last Days… which will be the culmination in history and the final “Last Days”.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Acts 2:21 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord…