ESV - 1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:
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The book of Joel records the Lord’s words for the people of Israel, but it is not known when he wrote. This prophet’s name means “Yahweh is God” or “The LORD is God,” which has a bearing on the theme of the book, as the rest of the names of the writing prophets. Seven times in his book, the phrase “the Lord your God,” appears. “God” is the name “Elohim,” the name of the Supreme Deity in relationship to the whole world. The name LORD, written in all upper case, is the name of God in relationship to His people. These differences are noticeable when they appear together in passages as in Genesis 7:16 and II Chronicles 18:31. In this book, “Lord” is mentioned over 30 times. The Lord reminds His people that He is their God. They are to fast and cry out to Him, Joel 1:14, return to Him, Joel 2:13, bring offerings to Him, Joel 2:14, rejoice in Him, Joel 2:23, and praise His name, Joel 2:26. They will know that He is their God and there is none else, Joel 2:27, and dwelling in His holy mountain, Joel 3:17. This name is also mentioned in connection to various important concepts: “word of the Lord,” Joel 1:1, “house of the Lord,” Joel 1:9, 14, 3:18 “ministers of the Lord,” Joel 1:9, 2:17, and “name of the Lord,” Joel 2:26, 32. Another phrase is “the day of the Lord,” Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 31, 3:14. This significant term is about impending judgment, in many cases referring to the Tribulation. In the book of Joel, the graphic description of the swarms of locusts of Joel 1:4-12, pictures this coming Day of the Lord. In light of the great and terrible day of the Lord, Joel 2:11, the Lord calls the people to return to Him, Joel 2:12-17. He then restores Israel to prosperity and blessings, Joel 2:18-27. Then, God will pour out His Spirit, Joel 2:28-29. Finally, the Day of the Lord climaxes with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, Joel 2:30-32. Peter used Joel 2:28-32 in his sermon, Acts 2:14-21, only to compare the future pouring out of the Spirit to the working of the Spirit upon the people, Acts 2:1-13. Peter was not saying it was fulfilled, but a striking illustration of the Spirit’s working, contrary to the accusation of being drunk. Paul also used Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13 to emphasize that anyone can call on the name of the Lord for help to be delivered. While restoring Israel, the Lord will gather the nations to judge them at the final battle of the Tribulation, Joel 3:1-13. Then the Lord will appear, becoming a shelter and strength for His people, Joel 3:14-17. The land of Israel will again flourish and those that wreaked violence on Judah will be left desolate, Joel 3:18-21. The book of Joel starts out with devastation by locusts, but ends with flourishing of life, demonstrating that truly the Lord is God.
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