INTRODUCTION TO JOEL
Joel was a prophet who lived at the same time as Elisha, about the 9th century B.C. There is very little known of Joel. Even the date of his writing is uncertain. His name means, “Jehovah is God.” His message is forcefully and elegantly written. He is calling for national repentance and then the blessing will come. Joel, as well as other prophets, uses events of his day to show the coming “Day of the LORD.” He uses the plague of locust and severe drought to show the people the punishment for their sins. Then he moves forward to show the coming invasions of armies upon Judah. “The Day of the LORD” is a key phrase, see 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; and 3:14. This was a time of judgment and calls for repentance and prayer 2:12-17. Our God is a God of compassion. He warns all to flee from the wrath of God, and come to Him for mercy, grace and forgiveness. Our God is longsuffering and longs for souls to repent. He gives what I call “the blessing verses.” Notice: 2:21-23, 32; 3:16 and Joel 2:28-29. These are the promises of deliverance. God is longsuffering, but there comes a time after His love is turned away, then His wrath is called upon individuals and nations. It is “in the valley of decision” that multitudes will face God’s wrath.
Some call the prophets Hosea through Malachi “minor prophets.” They do this because their books are small in content, not because their message is not important. Theirs is a message of warning to flee from the wrath of God. This is a “major message,” even to us today.
So as you begin your journey through these “great and major prophets,” be warned of God’s wrath and receive His blessings through Jesus Christ our Savior.
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