Commentary: Joel1-3. Nothing in this world is free from being subject to God, even Satan and his cohorts, at His command.
Joel 2:11 “And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”
It is in Science that things are classified as LIVING and NON-LIVING things; it is not so in the spiritual world. Everything hears the spoken word and goes by the command of the Sovereign God especially in judgment. In the book of Joel, we saw this happen when the fearful appearance of an army of locusts ominously darkened the sky as cloud and everything green that could be food for any creature was stripped to sticks. It was not announced or expected. There was no sign of it before striking. This happened to the southern kingdom of Judah when the region was deep in sin. Natural things can become weapons of divine judgment; rain, famine, blessing, drought, fertility and natural disaster are all under God’s control.
Prophet Joel’s message was that of repentance to the sinning community, consolation and hope for those affected by the disaster. God still promised them future if they repented.
The disaster was very catastrophic and was effected by four kinds of locusts;
Joel 1:4 “That which the palmerworm (chewing or cutting locust) hath left hath the locust (swarming locust) eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm (hopping or crawling locust) eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller (consuming or stripping locust) eaten.” (parenthesis mine)
This attack left behind dryness of joy from the people as concluded in Joel1:12
Joel 1:12 “The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.”
Unfortunately, many lives, homes, families, communities, clans and nations are passing through this type of situation where one problem hands over to another worse problem as if in a relay race. Joy is absent in many lives and what used to be green is reduced to nothingness. Chapter two of the book (verses 1-11) describes the experience of the people during the attack. Verses 12-18 is the message of the Lord to His devastated people;
Joel 2:12-13 “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
God’s demand in seeking for deliverance is not an outward show of religious practices but with a sincere heart. The grace and mercy of God can only be fully enjoyed when a sincere heart leads. The remaining part of the chapter is the message of hope for a sincere heart;
Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”
God is faithful and His lovingkindness never fails. The central message of Joel is on the day of the Lord. In this book, this refers to two experiences; judgment (or tribulation) and the outpour of His Spirit. Judgment to those that sin has made to become God’s enemy and restoration to those who heard the word and repented.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Amos1-3. Keep the fire of burning and alive.
Pastor Supo Abayode
MFM Delaware, USA