Joel 2:18-3:21 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Who Will Be Saved in the Day of the Lord
Comments for Study 2

Joel 2:18-3:21
Memory Verse: 2:18

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I. The Lord's Restoration of Judah (2:18-27)

>1. When the Lord's people have repented from their sins what will he do? (18)

* Joel 2:18 "Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people."

* "Then" -Joel had been writing about the day of the Lord. The former verses were about salvation from the gracious and compassionate God.

* "the LORD will be jealous" -This is future tense. Many verses speak of the Lord God's jealousy for his people and his land. Exodus 34:14 says his name is Jealous. The Lord's jealousy is a extension of his love.

* "for his land" -The Lord promised Abraham and his descendants a set of land. (Gen. 12:7)

* "take pity on his people" -Pity is an extension of the Lord's mercy. The Lord's pity is sympathetic and kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of his people, leading him to give relief and aid.

* The Lord's will respond to those who are repentant and ask for forgiveness. God is love. (1 John 4:8)

>What will he promise his people? (19)

* Joel 2:19 "The LORD will reply to them: 'I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations."

* "grain, new wine and oil" -After the Lord's people are resurrected, after the day of the Lord they will live on earth in the promised land for a thousand years. The Lord will bless the land greatly.

* "never again will I make you an object of scorn" -Jesus said that his people would be persecuted on account of him several times.

* "to the nations" -During the Millennium the people of God will live in the promised land. The rest of the earth will have nations of people who will have made it through the seven years of tribulation and Jesus second coming, the day of the Lord.

* John 17:20-21 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

* John 14:1-3 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

* 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

* Romans 8:18-21 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

>How will he protect them? (20)

* Joel 2:20 "'I will drive the northern army far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.' Surely he has done great things."

* "the northern army far from you" -The army here is referred to an army attack during the day of the Lord. It does not refer to the Assyrians or the Greeks who invaded Israel from the North. Rather, Ezekiel 38 and 39 are a prophecies against Gog (Russia), Persia (Iran), Cush (Egypt), Put (Libya), Gomer (Turkey), and Beth Togarmah (Turkey/Southern Russia) who will attack Israel from the north. Whether this is during the seven years tribulation, or at the end of the Millennium, or both is not clear. See below quote from Revelation.

* Revelation 20:7-9 "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them."

* "front columns going into the eastern sea" -This may refer to the Sea of Galilee or to the Dead Sea.

* "those in the rear into the western sea" -Mediterranean Sea.

* "stench... smell" -From the dead bodies of the defeated army just as the dead locust's smelled.

* "Surely he has done great things" -The Lord defeated the army marching against Israel.

>What can we learn about how the Lord brings his people back to him when they stray from him? (Hag. 2:17; Isa. 45:22)

* Haggai 2:17 "'I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,' declares the LORD."

* Isaiah 45:22 "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other."

* The Lord uses calamity to help us turn away from trust in ourselves and things in this world and turn to him, our life and our breath.

>2. When the Lord's people return to him how will he bless the land so they prosper? (21-22)

* Joel 2:21-22 "Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things. Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches."

* "Be not afraid" -A phrase often stated by Jesus to his disciples. Here the land is not to be afraid. This is the first of three "not afraids" in this section. As the calamity was three fold so the joy is threefold.

* "O land" -A personification.

* "wild animals" -The second of the three calls for joy.

>What will he give in righteousness?

* Joel 2:23-24 "Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil."

* "O people of Zion" -The third call to joy is for the people of Zion.

* "Zion" -The transliteration of the Hebrew and Greek words that originally referred to the fortified hill of pre-Israelite Jerusalem between the Kidron and Tyropoean valleys. Scholars disagree as to the root meaning of the term. Zion can also refer to all of Israel and the heavenly Jerusalem and Jesus' second coming.

* "the autumn rains in righteousness" -The autumn rains of righteousness has also been translated as the teacher of righteousness. The community at Qumran during Jesus' life said their highest teacher of the law (leader) was the fulfillment of this verse.

* The blessing the Lord gives the repentant nation was tangible. That which the calamity of locust, drought, and fire took away was now restored abundantly.

>3. How will he reverse the calamity he used to bring them back to him?

* Joel 2:25-26 "'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm-- my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed."

* "my great army" -The Lord is depicting the locusts as an army here. The locusts were used to foretell of the army of men during the day of the Lord.

* "You will have plenty to eat" -Future tense.

* "who has worked wonders for you" -When they were driven out of Egypt he worked wonders, through the judges and prophets he worked wonders. Now he will work wanders again.

* "never again will my people be shamed"

>What is the result of all the calamity and blessing? (27)

* Joel 2:27 "Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed."

* "Then" -After the blessings which came after repentance which came after the calamity which came after the sin.

* "you will know that I am in Israel" -Not that the Lord wasn't in Israel. Rather, they didn't recognize that he was in Israel.

* "never again will my people be shamed" -When a person claims to be God's chosen and then suffers they are greatly put to shame by those who do not believe. Israel was God's chosen nation and they told everyone that. Then a threefold calamity came that all acknowledged was the had of God. They were put to shame.

>What does this say about the Lord's love? (Exo. 20:3-6, 34:14; Deut. 32:21-29; Josh. 24:19-22)

* Exodus 20:3-6 ""You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments."

* Exodus 34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

* Deuteronomy 32:21-29 "They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap calamities upon them and spend my arrows against them. I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. Young men and young women will perish, infants and gray-haired men. I said I would scatter them and blot out their memory from mankind, but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy, lest the adversary misunderstand and say, 'Our hand has triumphed; the LORD has not done all this.'" They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!"

* Joshua 24:19-22 "Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you." But the people said to Joshua, "No! We will serve the LORD." Then Joshua said, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes, we are witnesses," they replied."

* The Lord goes to all extremes to call his people back to him. He even sent his one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for their sins so that they could return to a love relationship with him.

II. The Lord's Renewal of His People (2:28-32)

>4. What does "and afterward" tell us?

* "and afterward" -After all the events Joel mentions, he is now looking forward to another event.

* Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 on the day of Pentecost. He interpreted "and afterward" as "in the last days" perhaps because 3:1 states, "In those days and at that time". "In the last days" refers to the age we are in, especially the very end of this age, during what we call the tribulation. "In the last days" also refers to the Millenium.

* Day is "yom" in Hebrew in 3:1. Yom could mean any expanse of time. It is often dependant on other words associated with it.

Pentecost upper room event

* See a painting of the Pentecost upper room event to the right.

>In what ways are the prophesies in verses 28-29 fulfilled? (Acts 2:16-18)

* Joel 2:28-29 "'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days."

* Acts 2:16-18 "No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel, 'In the last days', God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.'"

* This is a sign of a new age, the age of preaching the gospel (aka the church age, the age of grace), the age that all receive the Holy Spirit. Prior to Pentecost only a few at select times received the Holy Spirit; a king, a prophet, or a priest.

* The Holy Spirit helped Peter remember and interpret the word of God on Pentecost.

* Peter's quote is interesting since not all of it (Acts 2:19-20; Joel 2:30-31) deals with the event the took place (Acts 2:1-6 vs. Joel 2:30-31). All the people heard at Pentecost was a great wind and people speaking in other languages. (Some commentaries even say that none of it has to do with what happened at Pentecost. They are wrong.) Peter quoted Joel to tell those that heard the wind and the believers speaking in tongues that they should not have been surprised for two reasons. First, the Holy Spirit was promised to be poured out on those who are saved, and second what they just saw and heard was nothing compared to other things that the LORD their God will do in the future. Also, the main theme of Joel is the need for Judah and Israel to repent and be saved, the very point Peter was told by Jesus to preach.

>How is the Holy Spirit's work different now than in Joel's time?

* A new age of gospel preaching and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit started at Pentecost.

* "pour out" -A great amount of the Holy Spirit is now poured out.

* "all people" -Believers in Jesus (Christians) only, but of all nationality, race, age, gender, physical appearance, ect.

* "Your" -God's children

* "sons and daughters" -Young men and young females are included. This went against Jewish thought.

* "will" -God's promise here is absolute.

* "prophesy" -Prophesy is correctly teaching the Bible, giving messages, and expounding on a passage in the right time and place. Today we tend to think prophesy is only dealing with the future events. This is not the case. Only around a third of the Old Testament prophesies directly deal with their future.

* "young men will see visions" -Visions involve seeing God's redemptive works. The young usually are controlled by passions.

* "old men will dream dreams" -Dreams can plant hope and compel us to live according to the hope in the Kingdom of God. Old men without the Spirit usually sleep, think of the good old days, live the comfortable retired life, or are bitter about pour decisions and life in general.

* "even on my servants" -Those God calls are his servants.

* "both men and women" -Gender was not a factor

* Moses said, "I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!" (Numbers 11:29)

* Extra ordinary things happen when a person lives by the Spirit for the Spirit changes the inner person. Almost unrecognisable on the outside, but on the inside the person's life is changed.

>5. What does verse 30-31 refer to? (Acts 2:19-20; Luke 23:44-45, 21:11)

* Joel 2:30-31 "I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD."

* Acts 2:19-20 "I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord."

* Some say that all the Joel verses Peter quoted can apply to the Messiah's first coming, ascension, and second very soon coming. It is hard to place Acts 2:19-20 at his first coming.

* "I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth" -A general statement followed by more specific examples. "I" is the Lord God. The Lord will show all men that Jesus is coming as Lord of all to establish his kingdom on earth. (Daniel 2:44-45)

Volcano Erupting Mount Sain Helen Volcano Erupting

* See pictures of volcanos erupting to the right (the left is Mount Saint Helens). Volcanoes could be a fulfilment of Joel's prophecy.

* "blood and fire and billows of smoke" -These three calamities are on the earth. Blood flows because of violence, war, and disease. Fire comes can come by man's doing or natural events. Billows of smoke can come from natural events like fires, meteors, and volcanoes, and from man made events like bombs.

* "the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood" -Some believe that the sun turning dark and the moon red will be due to volcano eruptions, meteors, large explosions, cities burning during wars, and/or forest fires. Others believe that God will make them change super naturally (a miracle). A new natural understanding of this is explained by Pastor John Hagaee in his book and three DVD series titled "The Four Blood Moons". He explains that in 2014 and 2015 on Passover and Sukkot during both years the moon will have a partial eclipse that will turn it red and in between these four there will be a total eclipse of the sun on the first day of the Hebrew calendar. He states that NASA has confirmed that this has also happened in 1492, 1948 and 1967 A.D.

Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse

* See pictures of a solar eclipse (left) and a lunar eclipse (right) event to the right.

* Jesus taught, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:10-11) It can be concluded that Joel's words here (and in 3:15) are some of the fearful and great signs on the earth and in the heavens.

* "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD" -Joel also uses this phrase in 2:11. Malachi 4:5 quotes it. Jesus uses terms like this referring the Romans (and the Antichrist) attack and destruction Jerusalem. (Luke 21:20-24) Then Jesus said of the end of this age, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:25-28)

* During Jesus' crucifixion at "...about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two." (Luke 23:44-45) Jesus' death made it possible for God, the Holy Spirit to dwell with his people. The curtain represented God seperated from sinful man. The three hours of darkness was a sign in the heavens, a partial fulfillment of Joel's prophecy here. Darkness when Jesus died symbolized that men were doing evil by killing Jesus. Judgment day is coming. Jesus' death was preview of the full judgment on this earth.

* Revelation 6:12-13 states, "I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind." Revelation 8:12 states, "The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night." Jesus' second coming has glorious wonders and so was the sending of the Holy Spirit to all his people.

* Jesus' quote of Isaiah in Matthew 24:29-30 (and Mark 13:24-26) is probably the same event as either or both Joel 2:31 and 3:15. Most likely Joel 2:31 is another event which is followed by the Joel 3:15. Jesus' quote in Matthew 24:29-30 and Mark 13:24-26 is the same as Joel 3:15 since they say the moon is darkened and not turned red. Jesus quoted Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4 while telling his disciples, "Immediately after the distress of those days, 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will shaken'. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory." The events that Jesus describes here is also found in Revelation 6:12-14, 8:12. These are the days of the great tribulation. The seven year period before Jesus comes will start when the antichrist signs a seven year treaty with Israel. Halfway through this seven period the antichrist will break this treaty. All this is explained in Revelation, Daniel and other prophets. That is when the abomination that causes desolation is set up in the Most Holy Place in the Temple (or Tabernacle) in Jerusalem on the temple mount. The last three and a half years are the great tribulation that these spoken of by Jesus and Isaiah will happen. Immediately after these events Jesus will come. Please read Revelations 19.

* Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4 are similar to Joel 2:31 and 3:15.

* Jesus' quoting Isaiah in Matthew 24:29-30 (and Mark 13:24-26) reveals that the change in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is from Pentecost to Jesus' second coming at the end of this age.

* God will pour out seven years of wrath and judgment. (Revelation 6-18, Daniel 9:24-27, Jeremiah 30:7, Isaiah 34:2) During the seven years a few will repent and accept Jesus as their King and Bridegroom. Many if not all Jews will also accept Jesus as the Messiah. (Rev. 7 & 14) During the seven years the man of lawlessness (aka antichrist) will be revealed, deceiving many, uniting them against the Kingdom of God and all who belong to it. (2 Th. 2:1-12) At the very end of the seven years all the armies of the earth will gather together in the valley of Megiddo in Israel to battle each other and Jesus, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. (Ps. 2) The battle is referred to as Armageddon. (Rev. 16:16) When the armies are gathered together Jesus will return to earth marking the beginning of the next age, the Millennium. (Rev. 12:16-21) Jesus' enemies have been telling people that Armageddon is the end of the world. This is a lie. Armageddon is not the end of the world. It is the end of this age and the beginning of the greatest age mankind has ever experienced, the Millennium. (Rev. 19)

>What is the meaning of verse 32a? (Acts 2:21, Rom. 10:12-13)

* Joel 2:32a "And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved"

* Acts 2:21 "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

* Romans 10:12-13 "For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

On knees at the cross

* "calls on the name of the Lord" -From the heart, not just the mind. It's the beginning of a love relationship which also includes faith, repentance, serving the Lord, prayer, Bible study, and congregational meetings of believers in Jesus.

* The statement is true of all ages. However in content to the verses around it and Peter's quote makes it especially true between the first and second coming of Jesus.

* The pattern and themes of the message become common in the early church. see Acts chapters 3, 10, & 13.
    1) an explanation of events
    2) the gospel of Jesus Christ (death and resurrection)
    3) an exhortation to repentance and baptism

* The only way to be saved is through Jesus, as he and the apostles taught.

* This verse gives a command (call on the name of the Lord) and a promise (will be saved).

>Where is Mount Zion and how was it the source of deliverance? (32b)

* Joel 2:32b "for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls."

* "Mount Zion" -The transliteration of the Hebrew and Greek words that originally referred to the fortified hill of pre-Israelite Jerusalem between the Kidron and Tyropoean valleys. Scholars disagree as to the root meaning of the term. Zion can also refer to all of Israel and the heavenly Jerusalem and Jesus' second coming.

* "there will be deliverance" -This is future tense. Jesus is that deliverance from sin and death.

* "as the Lord has said" -The promise of the Messiah was not new.

* "among the survivors whom the LORD calls" -A general time line in this study is: the restoration of Israel, the Messiah, and Pentecost. All these happened after a group of people returned from captivity during the times of Nehemiah and Ezra. Now in my lifetime this time line is being repeated. Since 1948 A.D. Israel was restored as a nation and Jews have been returning to Israel. Soon the Lord Jesus will return a second time when they call on him.

III. The Coming of the Day of the Lord (3:1-21)

>6. What does the Lord promise will happen when Jesus comes again?

* Joel 3:1 "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,"

* "In those days" -Jesus' second coming, the day of the Lord.

* "at that time" -The time of Jesus coming.

* "when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem" -Twice has Judah and Jerusalem been restored; once before his first coming and now a second time before his second coming.

>When he comes how will he decide the fate of the nations? (2-3, 12-14)

* Joel 3:2-3 "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink."

* Joel 3:12-14 "'Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!' Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

* "all the nations" -The judgement of nations will happen when Jesus comes again.

* "Valley of Jehoshaphat" -Valley of Jehoshaphat is only used in Joel. No actual known place was called this in Joel's day. Jehoshaphat signifies "YHWH's judges" so this means "Valley where YHWH judges". Jehoshaphat, a righteous king of Judah a generation before Joel (1 Kings 22; and 2 Chron. 17-20) defeated the three kings Moab, Ammon and Edom in a valley not far from Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 20:26) He worshiped the Lord in fasting, song, and prayer with the enemies before them. The Lord caused the three armies to kill each other. Some believe the Valley of Jehoshaphat is the Kidron Valley, located between the temple mount and the Mount of Olives.

jerusalem_templemount_kidron_olives

* See a picture of Jerusalem to the right. The Temple Mount is on the top/middle, the Kidron Valey is the green area running left to right just beneath it, and the Mount of Olives on at the bottom right.

* "I will enter into judgement" -Joel is speaking of a judgement of the nations to come. The Lord will judge the nations that make it through the tribulation. The nations that make it through this judgement will enter the Millennium.

* "concerning my inheritance" -The Lord considered his people and his land his inheritance. In order for there to be an inheritance someone needs to die. Jesus died and rose from the dead.

* "scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land" -After Joel this happened twice.

* "Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe" -Jesus spoke of the harvest too. The harvest is when he comes again. At the harvest he will separate the wheat from the tarries.

>7. How do and will people wrongly accuse God? (4-6)

* Joel 3:4-6 "Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland."

* "Tyre" -Ancient city state on the Mediterranean Sea.

* "Sidon" -Ancient city state on the Mediterranean Sea.

* "Philistia" -Ancient nation of five major cities on the Mediterranean Sea.

* God punished these three for sins against his people. Sidon was enslaved by Antiochus III in 345 B.C. Tyre was besieged by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and captured by the Greeks under Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Philistia ceased to exist following the Assyrian conquest of the Levant in 722 B.C.

* "Greeks" -The Greek city states were trading with the Phoenicians centuries before and after Joel. Later many Israelites and Jews were sent to and lived in Greece. Because of Greece many Jews spoke and wrote in Greek, while not knowing Hebrew, especially in Jesus' and the apostles' times.

* "that you might send them far from their homeland" -Israel and Judah were taken into captivity twice. Joel saw in the actions of these three nations a foreshadow of a future Judean exile.

>How does God promise he will set things straight? (7-8)

* Joel 3:7-8 "See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.' The LORD has spoken."

* "Sabeans" -Sabeans were the same as the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon. (1 Kings 10:1-13) Sheba is in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula (modern Yemen).

* The Lord brought the Jews back from exile twice. The Israelites (the northern kingdom) has not returned yet (as far as I can tell).

>What will soon happen to Israel and Jerusalem? (9-11)

* Joel 3:9-11 "Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!' Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD!"

* "assemble there" -The Valley of Jehoshaphat or perhaps some say Megiddo (the city in northern Israel on the plain of Esdraelon where Armageddon will be). However, Joel does not mention Megiddo anywhere in his book and Armageddon is only mentioned in Revelation 16:16.

* Again Joel refers to a time when all the nations draw together for battle against them and the Lord's invincible heavenly army. They will lose and the Lord will judge them.

>During the day of the Lord where can people find refuge? (15-16)

* Joel 3:15-16 "The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel."

* "the sun and moon will be... no longer shine" -Changes with the sun and moon are stated three times by Joel (2:10, 31, 3:15). The first time was concerning the locust which he saw a foreshadow of things to come. The second time is different than the other two because it mentions the sun darkening and the moon turning red. Isaiah quoted Joel words in Isaiah 3:15 a generation later. Ezekiel also quoted this during the time of the exile. And as discussed above, Jesus also quoted it to his disciples (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25). Also mentioned above is John's statements in Revelations 6:12, 8:12. Habakkuk may also be quoting this in his prayer. (Habakkuk 3:11)

* Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4 are similar to Joel 2:31 and 3:15.

* Isaiah 13:9-13 "See, the day of the LORD is coming --a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger-- to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger."

* Isaiah 24:21-23 "In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously."

* Isaiah 34:4 "All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree."

* Matthew 24:29-31 "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

* Mark 13:24-27 "But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."

* Ezekiel 32:3-8 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'With a great throng of people I will cast my net over you, and they will haul you up in my net. I will throw you on the land and hurl you on the open field. I will let all the birds of the air settle on you and all the beasts of the earth gorge themselves on you. I will spread your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your remains. I will drench the land with your flowing blood all the way to the mountains, and the ravines will be filled with your flesh. When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over your land,' declares the Sovereign LORD."

* "the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel" -The Lord Jesus is always his people's refuge.

* "roar" -The Lord is often portrayed as a roaring lion.

Roaring Lion

* See a picture of a roaring lion to the right.

* Amos 1:2 "He said: "The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers."

* Hosea 11:10-11 "They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes," declares the LORD."

* Jeremiah 25:30-31 "Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: "'The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth. The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,'" declares the LORD."

>8. When Jesus comes again what does he promise? (17)

* Joel 3:17 "Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her."

* Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. His people will be safe in Jerusalem.

>How will his presence bring blessings to Judah?

* Joel 3:18 "'In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD's house and will water the valley of acacias."

* "In that day" -Same as "in those days", "at that time", and "the day of the Lord" already stated by Joel.

* Revelation 22:1-7 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place." "Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."

* "the valley of acacias" -Also valley of Shittim. Transliteration of Hebrew word for accacia trees (grows in dry deserts) and name of 1. a large area in Moab directly across the Jordan from Jericho and north-east of the Dead Sea. Israel camped there for a long period before crossing into the Promised Land. While at Shittim, they were blessed by Balaam (whom Balak had hired to curse Israel; Num. 22-24; compare Mic. 6:5), committed sin with the Moabite and Midianite women (Num. 25), and Joshua was announced as Moses' successor (Deut. 34:9). Joshua sent spies out from Shittim (Josh. 2:1; compare 3:1). It is modern tell el-Hammam es Samri about eight miles east of the Jordan. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

>9. What is promised those who oppose God's people? (19)

* Joel 3:19 "But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood."

* "Egypt... Edom" -The oldest enemies of Israel depict all the enemies of the Lord and his people.

* This is a reversal of the calamity against Judah earlier in the book.

>How do our actions affect our future according to these verses?

* Obadiah 1:15 "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head."

* Jesus taught, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt. 7:1-2) Mark 4:24 and Luke 6:38 are similar.

>10. Who will be the eternal inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem? (20; Rev. 3:11-13, 21:1-3)

* Joel 3:20 "Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations."

* Revelation 3:11-13 "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

* Revelation 21:1-3 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."

* "inhabited forever" -A promise repeated often in the Bible and only fulfilled when Jesus comes. Twice since David made Jerusalem Israel's capital Jerusalem was vacated. Now that Jew's occupy it again and have made it their capital it will be vacated by them one more time when the Antichrist steps into the yet to be built temple and declares himself God. Then when Jesus comes he will make it his capital and his people will live in it forever.

* "all generations" -The generations will continue during the Millennium, not by the resurrected (us who truly believe), but by those who make it through the tribulation and the judgement of nations.

>How does Jesus take away our bloodguilt?

* Joel 3:21 "Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.' The LORD dwells in Zion!"

* Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

* 1 Peter 1:18-19 "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."

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