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Joel

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Purity, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    JOEL

    The word of Yahweh that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.

    The name Joel means “Yahweh is God (or Power; Might El).” This is an inversion of the name Elijah, which means “God is Yah.” The fact that his parents gave him a name in connection with God indicates that they were members of the Believing Remnant of that day. The only thing known about Joel’s family is that he was the son of Pethuel, which means “the openheartedness of God” or “the sincerity of God.”

    Joel fits in after the reformation of Josiah

    Contemporary with Zephaniah and Jeremiah.

    No other minor prophet takes us so far into the future as Joel – whereas Amos is dealing with prophecies mainly to do with Israel’s neighbours / enemies and closes with the restoration of Israel. Joel deals with those coming judgements upon Judah but takes us right into the Kingdom age. Most of what is written by Joel has never taken place in Israel’s history

    Prophesied around the time of Babylonish captivity.

    Facts:

    1. Joel 2:1 Blow the trumpet1 in Zion; sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear, for the day of the LORD is about to come. Indeed, it is near! A great Day of Yahweh coming and it was nigh at hand – it is near! And this was the day Judah’s commonwealth would come to an end. It’s also important you should know that Judah alone is mentioned in these prophecies – though Israel would have witnessed these events, nowhere in the book is Israel directly mentioned. So we are speaking of Judah and Jerusalem the destruction of the temple and all that went with its demise.

    2. Joel 1:6 For a nation19 has invaded20 our21 land. There are so many of them they are too numerous to count.22 Their teeth are like those23 of a lion; they tear apart their prey like a lioness.24 So we are speaking of a nation which is innumerable and very powerful and whose symbol was the Lion. And if you recall your Sunday School lessons in Daniels prophecies we are told the symbol of the lion stands for the Assyrian/ Babylonian empires that came against the nation of Israel.

    The temple worship was winding down Joel 1:9 No one brings grain offerings or drink offerings to the temple of the LORD anymore.37 So the priests, those who serve the LORD, are in mourning. AND Joel 1:16 Our food has been cut off right before our eyes!

    There is no longer any joy or gladness in the temple of our God!51

    So the Temple is in operation but the services are winding down.
    Practicing idolatry between the porch and the altar.

    Joel 2:17. Between the temple porch and the altar. The area between the porch and the altar is a place of limited access. Only the priest would have reason to proceed beyond the altar toward the temple. But it was also used to stage important public acts. In Ezekiel 8:16 this is the area where syncretistic sun worship was being carried out by twenty-five men. In 2 Chronicles 24:21 this is the area in which the prophet Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, was stoned to death (see Mt 23:35).

    1:10 The crops of the fields38 have been destroyed.39 The ground is in mourning because the grain has perished. The fresh wine has dried up; the olive oil languishes.

    So the land is in a terrible famine at the time of this prophecy. Jer 14:1,2

    14:1 The LORD spoke to Jeremiah1 about the drought.2 14:2 “The people of Judah are in mourning. The people in her cities are pining away. They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow.3 Cries of distress come up to me4 from Jerusalem.5

    A great drought plague the land during this time of Jeremiah and Joel and rightly so as it only reflected the state and bareness of the people just before the exile into Babylon.

    I think it’s important that we use Zephaniah and Joel to paint a picture of this time and the judgements which here coming on Judah. They could have prophesies simultaneously as Judah spiralled down and down until its day of captivity.

    A picture of impending distress

    • A strong, lion-like power would invade (Joel 1:6).
    • The Temple in Jerusalem still existed (Joel 2:13,14) and its services were taking place, but they were either beginning to decline, or prophetically would do so in the near future (Joel 1:9,16).
    • The people were wayward and hypocritical. The plea to turn to the LORD their God, rending their hearts and not their garments (Joel 2:12,13), implies outward piety alone –reformation within was urgently needed.
    • There was famine (Joel 1:9,10,17) and drought (Joel 1:18,20).
    • All these factors point to a time near to the end of the state of Judah.

    Note: Need to discuss the primary and secondary industries.

    The industrial sector of an economy that is dominated by the manufacture of finished products.

    Unlike a primary industry, which collects and produces raw materials for manufacture, a secondary industry makes products that are more likely to be consumed by individuals. Examples of secondary industry divisions include automobile manufacturing, steel production and telecommunications. Also called secondary sector of industry.

    An industry involved in the extraction and collection of natural resources, such as copper and timber, as well as by activities such as farming and fishing. A company in a primary industry can also be involved in turning natural resources into products.

    Primary industry tends to make up a larger portion of the economy of developing countries than they do for developed countries.

    Israel only had primary industry in Joel's day which is why the whole prophecy is filled with examples of primary industry.

    So when you read Joel you need to appreciate the impact of God judgements on Israels primary economy.

    The whole economy was crumbling in those days ending up to their captivity. The nation was in utter ruins and people were perishing for want of bread.

    Israel had been lead by a long history of dreadful wayward kings who had corrupted the nation and through false worship bought poverty and dispair.

    Then we see expressions from God that show His empathy that the things which are happening to Israel are happing to God Himself.

    Look at the use of "MY" in Joel's prophecy. God wasn't just punishing a people He was dealing with His own heritage:

    Joel 1:6,7 My Land; My Vine; My Fig Tree
    Joel 2:1;3:17 My Holy Mountain
    Joel 2:26,27 My People
    Joel 3:2 My People; My Heritage; My Land
    Joel 3:5 My Gold; My Silver; My goodly pleasant things

    God is intimately involved in the state and condition of His people - He Loves them very much!

    As God brought these dreadful things upon this nation He did so against everything he stood for, but He could not deny Himself of what was right and just. So even after such a punishing existence for Israel they were still Gods people. All those references of MY THIS, AND MY THAT placed emphasis in the ears of the hearers that God had not forsaken them as they had done to Him.

    Whatever God did for them or against them He did so because they are His people.

    Speaking personally here: If we did not suffer in this life, we could not take part in the next. You cannot be a Christian without suffering - utterly impossible! Even if your suffering was self imposed, as much of it was for this wayward people who choose money and high living over the consideration of the poor in the land, or whether God's correction and chastisement presented some painful period you would know God had good plans to do to you at some future time.

    I spoke to a young women recently who said I have been raised with a silver spoon in my mouth and I have never known suffering in my life! I said you will! If you don't you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Acts 14:22NET

    If we consider everything we have is Gods, house, money, food and clothing because if they are God's people then all they have is God's.

    The prophet did not critique inequities within the social system in Judah or condemn perversion of role relationships like other prophets. The locust plague, a precursor of the day of the Lord, destroyed the people’s usual way of looking at the world. The earth did not provide grass, wine, fruit, or grain as it usually did. The behavior of drunkards changed because there was no wine (Joel 1:5); the farmers’ harvest ended when the barley was destroyed (Joel 1:11). The priest’s role of offering sacrifices at the temple stopped (Joel 1:10). Elders were at the fast (Joel 1:2,14;2:16,28) but their leadership role was not described.

    The enemy threatening Jerusalem was pictured as an army. Divided into ranks, it marched forward in orderly lines no one could stop. Its enormous power will destroy everything in Judah. The normal order of things in the heavens and the earth will be transformed on the day of the Lord (Joel 2:2–10).

    Joel also addressed social structures in the distant future. These will include a new outpouring of the Spirit on those who call on the Lord—people from every age, sex, nation, and social status (Joel 2:28–32). God will transform the political order between nations. He will destroy the enemies of His people, restore exiled Jews to Jerusalem, and give His people rain, good harvests, and protection from enemies (Joel 2:18–27; 3:18–21).

    The key social institution that affected the future was the temple. It had the traditional sacrifices and priests and was a national meeting place for fasting in times of grave danger. Joel encouraged the people to confess their sins, lament, and trust in God’s mercy at this fast (Joel 1:13–14; 2:12–17).

    A Warning

    Joel 1:1-14

    Notice how God is seeking to call all His people together, elders and all the people? The calling of the assembly in Joel 1:14;2:1 is significant in terms of the later day fulfilment of this prophecy. A time is coming when God will unite all His scattered people under one King and unlike those Kings who went before them this King shall lead them in righteousness like no other King has done before.

    After the calling of assembly the people are given a message of hope in Joel 1:14-20.
     
  2. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    If we are careful readers you will notice in Chapter 1 God calls upon certain classes of people.

    Joel 1:2 Old Men
    Joel 1:5 Drunkards
    Joel 1:11 Farmers
    Joel 1:13 Priests

    This is the life of the congregation right there!

    Elders should guide and lead by example. The Drunkards are not necessarily in a literal sense, but those men and woman inebriated on the things of this world; intoxicated with many passions and lusts. The farmer is devoted to the economy and nothing else. The Priests ought to be doing something in the service of God.

    Four classes of people warned covering all society - every person could be categorised by Gods judgements into these distinct classes of people.

    Joel 1:2 Old Men
    Joel 1:5 Drunkards
    Joel 1:11 Farmers
    Joel 1:13 Priests

    What would be the divine recommendation for these groups?

    Old Men - LISTEN because God's going to tell them something they have never heard about!!!! Old men often think they through their many experiences have much to impart and can forget they are but little children in Gods eyes. Who hasn't heard the stories of Old Men? OLD MEN BETTER LISTEN

    Drunkards - You must wake up! These wander around oblivious to the sufferings and trials disconnected from reality!!! Be SOBER minded 1 Thess 5:6 Watch and be sober.

    Farmers - When the day of the Lord comes they will be ashamed of their thinking. There are deeper considerations than the almighty dollar.

    The Land cannot give the farmer his revenue like Nabal who owned much property and drunk himself into oblivion during the harvest time; no the farmer here hasn't grain enough for himself and what about the Priest who relies on the farmer to bring him food - NOTHING!!!! The priest will starve for want.

    The Priest is on the end of the line and he dear readers will go first - end up perishing for lack of knowledge, yes, and of unwilling service in the house of God. He will starve like the dogs scrambling for crumbs under the tables of rich $$$ priesthood. But all the money wont help when the land is in a dearth.

    Joel 1:2 Old Men - Shut up and listen!
    Joel 1:5 Drunkards - Wake up and work
    Joel 1:11 Farmers - Change your motives for working in the economy.
    Joel 1:13 Priests - Minister to peoples spiritual needs and not your own.

    This is the great warnings of Joel 1:1-13

    BUT - What message had the Old Men not heard?

    Hear this, you elders;

    listen, all who live in the land.

    Has anything like this ever happened in your days

    or in the days of your ancestors?


    You think you know something? Well this has never happened in your life or your fathers!!!!

    YOU BETTER TELL "THIS" TO YOUR CHILDREN AND THIER CHILDREN AND TO THIER CHILDREN (us)

    The end of Joel 1:3 is our generation today....that's what God is saying - this message must find it way to our generation...or else we will end up like the Old Man, Drunkard, Farmer, and Priest.

    Imagine an Old Man telling his children of this: "that in 1875 a swarm of locusts 1800 miles long and 110 miles wide swarmed through the western U.S., causing $200M in crop damage."

    And that one plague of locust after another destroyed the land - this man had never seen such destruction as this and imparts the meaning of it to his grandchildren.

    Then he goes back to Exod 10:1-3 (wow!)

    that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians ...
     
  3. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    When I read Joel 1:2 it appears to me that the prophet (and thus, God) is somewhat relying on the age, wisdom and experience of the old men. How so? He basically is asking them, "Have you ever seen in all your years (or even heard about it from your fathers) things in this condition? Now, note it, and tell your children about it and tell them to tell their children about it!"

    Kind of goes along with what you said, but I thought I'd expound. I like what you said about "drunkards". Too many relate that directly to alcohol abuse.... And Biblically, sometimes it's the right call. Not always.
     
    Purity likes this.
  4. Purity

    Purity New Member

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    Hi FHII

    Thanks for your post.

    I had to take a short break from Malachi being asked to present a short study to some teenagers...these are just some notes I am putting together - bit messy but I find this forum very helpful both in comments such as yours and the layout works very well.

    I agree with your comment on alcohol' I am partial to a drop of wine when reading and studying my Bible - helps relax me from a hard days work. But habitual abuse is where the snare lies. Emotional entanglement with any form of vice can be damaging to the disciple - know this first hand.

    God bless and feel free to jump in anytime.
    Purity

    Joel 1:2

    In further consideration of these "Old Men"; their memory would recall the reformation of Josiah and its subsequent decline after his death. The significance of Josiah is comprehended in the comment "Jeremiah lamented for Josiah" 2 Chron 35:25 - few indeed stood with Jeremiah in his work - I know today in this forum I doubt any of us would stand with Jeremiah; certainly not his judgements...the world has affected/infected the Christian with human rights and political correctness. However the effect of that reformation was short lived and by the time of Joel the work had been well and truly undermined - no doubt by these "Old Men".

    We left off looking a Exod Chapter 10 as it relates to the warning to the Old Men of Joel 1.

    Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, 2 and sthat you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, tthat you may know that I am the Lord.”

    This is the language of Joel.

    Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.

    So imagine for a moment 10 generations speaking one after the other about Exodus 10 and how God declared His signs among the earth.

    Such knowledge is not knowledge for its own sake, but rather for the sake of present events that will affect future generations because Yahweh's word is connected to these events.

    But in Joel God is saying you have never heard what I am about to do in Judah.

    FOUR successive locusts plagues one after the other would ravish Israel - not seen in history!

    And while this could well have been literal locusts He was speaking about the impending army which was about to swarm over the land. Israel or Judah had never seen such a powerful army consume them as the Babylonian forces. (Deut. 28:38)

    Look at how the Hewbrew puts it.

    (The-)remainder (-left by) the-shearer(s)b the-swarmer(s) (have-)eaten, and-(the-)remainder(-left by) the-swarmer(s) the-creeping-locust(s)e (have-)eaten, and-(the-)remainder(-left by) the-creeping-locust(s) the-leaping-locust(s) (have-)eaten.

    The Hebrew language vividly uses four different terms: “the shearer,” “the swarmer,” “the licker,” and “the consumer.”

    So awesome is the resultant shortage that Joel can summon drunkards to weep for lack of juices to produce wine. Locusts that are much like invading soldiers in devastating crops are figuratively called a “nation.” These insects, in a way broadly analogous to what a human army does, assault a region in swarms without number. People wail as a virgin does over her groom’s death. For the famine cuts off grain for temple meal offerings and wine used in drink offerings. Priests mourn, hit hard as the crisis rids the land of supplies to support temple ministry. Farmers who raise wheat and barley are ashamed at being reduced so drastically. Grapes, figs and other fruits are a loss. Gloom routs joy.

    Think about how Israel maintained a strong interest in history; see the recall of history in Deut 6:20–25; 26:7–10; Ps 136; Neh 9; Acts 7. Nothing in that history compares to the present disaster. “Never before” will turn to “never again” in Joel 2:19, 27; Joel 3:17. The command directs the people to keep the current disaster in future historical memory. As the Lord would remember sins through the coming generations (Exod 34:7–9), future residents of Jerusalem should also remember these events.

    Imagine after the first wave of soldiers came and burnt everything to the ground and then the next and the next and next - you tell your children about that!

    Did you notice how Joel added another generation to Exodus 10? "Another generation"

    This is a remarkable thing.

    You know Joel calls these locusts in Joel 2:25KJV "My great Army"

    TBC
     
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