Joel 1: Beginning to think about the ‘Day of the Lord’


Read Joel 1 

Joel (whose name means ‘the Lord is God’) Chapter 1 opens with a natural disaster in view that is meant to teach and foreshadow the Day of the Lord (Judgement Day).  A locust plague has hit the land and Joel will use this natural disaster to speak to all people about the lack of faith in God and its repercussions. 



City Folk 



We can see three phases of judgment as Joel sees it (there are patterns): 

Judgment (now) 

Repentance (now) 

Full Restoration (now and not yet) 

The judgment that Joel sees is pledged by God and will happen.  This natural disaster will destroy crops and cause famine and thirst.  The point of the disaster is to prepare the people for mercy.  Joel wants people to prepare for mercy which is why He sends the locusts.  He wants to help open their hearts so that they can be redeemed.   

Please do not miss that the judgment from God is life-giving.  The Spirit of God has a twofold effect on the lives of His people: 1) preserve by bringing justice and 2) brings about life by creating a thirst for God Himself. Life can still be restored when repentance is present. 

Joel is speaking to the People of Israel because there can be life among those who have dedicated themselves to death.  God will prune.  God will accept repentance and wants His people to repent (see Chapter 2). 

Yes! God breaks what He loves if it’s crooked and it is corrupted. 

Yes! God gives life when there is a response and gives grace. 

Keep in mind that Messianic restoration will come after the Day of the Lord (see Chapter 3).  Joel presents a progressive day (a present reality and future fulfillment) that is not just one day, but a ‘collective day’ in which God’s plan is unfolded for humanity: 

Present Reality: Locust plague in Joel’s day 

Future Fulfillment: 722BC (Northern Kingdom) 

Future Fulfillment: 586BC (Southern Kingdom) 

Future Fulfillment: 70AD (Jerusalem) 

Future Fulfillment: Revelation 9 (End Days) 

We must keep what Joel and other prophets have said when we read books like Revelation because the visions of the New Testament agree with Old Testament prophecies and at times show their fulfillment.  Scripture interprets Scripture.   

Overall, Joel brings the Word of God which is a call for repentance for His people.  A rebirth is desired by God and He will build back new (Pentecost) and better in Christ including Jews and Gentiles together.  The Kingdom of God contains all nations who have repented and accepted the mercy of God. 


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