Joel Says to Worship Our God of Wrath
Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty.-Joel 1:15, emphasis added
A simple, basic overview of the book of Joel is as follows:
Chapter 1-God Seeks Repentance. Joel was commissioned to declare the lesson needing to be learned from the locust plague. So often the scientific explanation neatly blinds the eyes of people to God's hand behind the scenes-His ultimate goal being the repentance of His people, which always refers to a "turn about."
Chapter 2-God Gives Revelation. God alone knows and writes the future in advance. That is one of the exclusive features of the Bible that has set it apart from all other religious books on earth.
Chapter 3-God Plans Restoration. Verses 1-17 are a portrait of universal judgment, moral declension, and physical disaster. Verses 18-21 are a picture of the eternal age-millennial blessing following the judgment of the day of the Lord, and the land, freed from wickedness, is again blessed of God.
Three Benefits of an Eschatological Study:Eschatological means "related to the end of the world or the events associated with it."
1. Eschatology points us to Christlike living:I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." . . . And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (Revelation 19:10; 1 John 3:3).
2. Eschatology produces hopeful living in us:Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
3. Eschatology promotes confident living in us:Abide in Him; that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at his coming. [For] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 2:28; 5:19-20).
The Lord wants to use disasters and tragedies, such as the locust plague in Joel, to refocus hearts upon Him. As someone once said, "God whispers to us in our joys, but shouts to us in our sorrows." Is there anything in particular in your life today where God is "shouting" to get your attention? In the Scriptures, repentance and forgiveness are always tightly bound together. It is as simple as this: if we repent, we will be forgiven; if we do not repent, we can't be forgiven.
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