So this past week I have been really trying to study God’s word as much as I can. Currently I have no study plan for my morning devotions, so I have just started digging randomly into God’s word. Last Saturday, as I was praying and reading my Bible, God led me to the book of Joel. I had never thought of reading this book before, and so I became curious as to why God led me to this book. To my surprise, I actually have learned a lot from this book and now would like to share my personal notes with you.
So to start out, the book of Joel was written around 835-796 B.C. and is three chapters long. The main story is about Joel, a prophet of God, telling God’s people the message God has sent to him. Joel tells of the future occurrence of God judging sin on the day of the Lord and commands for the people to repent to the Lord before the day of judgment. I have taken notes from these three chapters, and here is what I have learned:
The very first verse states: “The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.” This stood out to me and reminded me that Joel is not some sort of supernatural being struck by God but that God was speaking to him. Joel then tells the people for them to remember this message and retell it for generations to come (Joel 1:2-3). So this tells me that the message wasn’t just for that current time but for the future as well. I made myself alert for the rest of the chapter to look for things to learn-especially since this message could also be directed to me. The next thing described in the chapter is the loss of food. Infestations of palmer worms, locusts, canker worms, and caterpillars have eaten and devoured the crop that had grown (Joel 1:4). Of Course we don’t have too much of that problem today, but that verse made me think about famines or times that people don’t have as much as they used to. There are plenty of times and situations in our world today that people can go hungry or their income can decrease. Joel then goes into detail to command everyone to cry out unto the Lord and to fast and pray for the destruction of God is coming. He describes things burning by flames and animals groaning from lack of food (Joel 1:5-20). These descriptions may sound more like “Bible Time” destruction and not seem relevant to today except for when it says that the destruction of God is coming. What destruction and did it already pass? That brings us to chapter two which goes more into depth about this “destruction”.
This chapter starts out with Joel commanding for a trumpet to be blown on mount Zion for the day of the Lord is coming ( Joel 2:1). Again we must remember that God is speaking through Joel, so it is actually God who is commanding for the trumpet to be blown in Zion. One question I used to always wonder is what is so special about the mount Zion? Mount Zion is mentioned a lot in the Bible and has been referred to as God’s holy mountain. So God is commanding to blow a trumpet on His holy hill because the day of his return is coming soon. Joel goes on to describe a darkness like no one has ever seen or will ever see again coming upon the land. The land before them of that like Eden will be devoured by a flame and behind them a desolate wilderness burned by a flame. People will appear like horses and run like the wind, the moon and sun will stop shining, and the earth will produce earthquakes (Joel 2:11). So, as I was reading these set of verses, it reminded me of Revelation and the description of the end times. Again, this message is relevant to us because Joel told the people to retell this for generations to come. God revealed to me that this is another description of the “End Times” from an earlier date. He has had this day planned for a long time. Joel goes on to state that the Lord is still calling people back and that He promises blessings, food, and drink (Joel 2:12-31). I am glad that this is included in the message because since this is our future, it is very comforting to know that God will be there to protect us in the end. Also, God is giving us time – before He returns to bring destruction – for us to repent and prepare ourselves. To answer the question in the chapter one description, this destruction will be the “End Time” destruction described in Revelation and therefore has not passed yet.
This chapter goes into detail about how God will rescue His people and build a new earth for us to live on. So not much to explain here except that God has a very good plan, and He will be with us in the end.
So After studying and praying through this book I have come to my Application. God is coming soon and He has been warning us for a long time throughout history. The question is: what are we to do? God tells us in Matthew, after he ascends back to heaven, to go throughout the world and tell of the good news. Not only do we need to tell others, but we need to prepare ourselves. Keep talking to God and studying His word. Memorize verses and chapters and continue your walk with God. Find God’s truth and be ready to stand firm and hold on to those truths. That way you will be ready for the “End Times” that is to pass.
I hope you have enjoyed my study and the personal lessons God has taught me. Please don’t just take my word for it, but look up the book of Joel and study it for yourself. Let God reveal things to you during your time with Him. Also please post in the comments what you thought of this overview. Thanks for reading!
Coming Soon: Reviews of my journey through the study Battle Plan for Prayer based off the christian movie War Room!