Joel Lesson 1
OUTLINE OF JOEL
“THE DAY OF THE LORD”
KEY VERSE: Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”
THEME: A terrible plague of locusts swarmed over the land of Israel. Using the situation as an object lesson, Joel predicts future judgment and future restoration of the nation of Israel.
DATE: Joel wrote the Book early in the eighth century B.C., somewhere around the date of 860 B.C. Some say ninth century, but we are not sure of the date.
WRITER: JOEL – Joel is called, “The son of Pethuel.” Beyond this bare statement, little is known about Joel. Some think he might have been a priest because of his repeated reference to the priesthood of his day. (Joel 1:9,13; and 2:17) The name “Joel” means “Jehovah is God.” We believe Joel lived in Jerusalem.
WRITTEN: Joel, next to Obadiah, is probably the most ancient prophet. There is no mention of Assyria, Syria, or Babylon. There is mention of ancient Tyre, Zidon, Philistia, Edom, and Egypt. (Joel 3:4, 19) We believe Joel prophesied during the reign of the boy king, Joash. Elijah and Elisha were preaching in the north to the ten tribes, while Joel prophesied to the two tribes in Judah.
THE BOOK: Number in Bible: 29th of 66 books. Number of Chapters: 3. Number of verses: 73. Number in order of writing: 2nd of 12 books of minor prophesy.
PURPOSE: To show that locust swarming into the land were figurative of the nations who would swarm upon Israel, but if the people would repent, then God would deliver them and pour out His Spirit upon them.
DIVISIONS: 1. Present Famine (1:1-20) 2. Predicted Foes (2:1-11) 3. Promised Forgiveness (2:12-27) 4. Prophetic Focus (2:28-3:21)
FACTS: We believe the little boy, Joash, was king at the time the book of Joel was written. The country was governed by his advisor, Jehoiada, the high priest. The queen mother, Athaliah, had killed all of the grandchildren that were heir to the throne, except Joash, who had been hidden away in the temple. Joel is sometimes called “the prophet of Pentecost” (Joel 2:28).
THE BOOK OF JOEL IS THE STORY OF WASTED YEARS: Israel had gotten careless and loose (1:5). The tragedy had set in upon them (1:6). Israel was like a virgin bride whose new husband had died (1:8). The people had stopped bringing offerings to the temple (1:9). The priests were at their wits end (1:9). The fields were dry and barren (1:10). The corn is shriveled and empty (1:10). The grapes were wrinkled and like raisins (1:10). Wheat and barley were gone (1:11). The fruit was withered (1:12). There was no hope but God (1:14). The oxen, sheep, goats, and cattle were desolate (1:18). The water was all dried up (1:20).
OUTLINE: I. The author (1:1). II. The swarm of locusts (1:2-20). III. The clashing armies at Armageddon (2:1-11). IV. The call to repentance (2:12-17). V. The assurance of the LORD (2:18-29). VI. The happenings prior to the Day of the LORD (2:30-32). VII. The restoration of Israel (3:1). VIII. The judgment of the nations (3:2-14). IX. The presence of God in Jerusalem (3:15-17). X. The eternal happiness of Judah (3:18-21).
MISCELLANEOUS: Even though the Book of Joel is short, it is neglected. It is one of the most stirring of all prophetic writings. It is a survey of the history of Israel from the time of its writing to the Second Coming of Christ in power and great glory. The Book of Joel illustrates how God makes the future known to man. It illustrates the way all Biblical truth is revealed. It demonstrates that revelation is progressive. Joel unfolds and develops a new concept, the Day of the Lord, as do the prophets that follow him. The land of Palestine had been a beautiful place dotted with fig and olive trees. The slopes were covered with beautiful vineyards, and the valleys were filled with corn. Palestine had been described as “a land flowing with milk and honey, then, the locusts came.” There had been four plagues: palmer worms, locusts, canker worms, and caterpillars. (Some Hebrew scholars maintain that four stages of the development of the locusts are described here.) The first column destroyed every leaf and blade of grass. The second wave devoured the bark from the trees. The noise of their wings was heard for miles, and the land looked as though it had been swept by fire. The prophet revealed that this was chastening upon the people because of sin. The locusts symbolized the invasion of Assyria.
JOEL CHAPTER THREE GIVES THE ORDER OF THE EVENTS IN “THE DAY OF THE LORD.”
1. The regathering of Judah to Jerusalem (3:1) (Zechariah 10:6). 2. The gathering of the gentile powers against Jerusalem (3:3, 9-15) (Revelation 17:12-15; 19:17-19). 3. Great controversy with the gentile powers over their treatment of God’s people (3:2-8) (Deuteronomy 30:5-7; Matthew 25:31-45). 4. The deliverer who came out of Zion (3:15-16) (Joel 2:32). 5. The millennial blessing of Israel with Jehovah dwelling inside (3:17-21).
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