Sunday 5th January 2020 Devotion
Scripture:- Joel 2:1-21
Topic:- Motto For The Year 2020 
Text:- Joel 2:21A.
A. Background To The Motto From The Book Of The Prophet Joel:
1. Joel is the second of the twelve Prophets in the Book of the Twelve. The Book of the Twelve Prophets was originally on one parchment roll because of the brevity of the text, and together formed one Book of the 24 Books of Hebrew Scripture.
2. These twelve Prophets were sometimes named the minor prophets, not because they are of lesser importance, but because their writings are brief.
3. The Twelve include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah,
4. The Book of the Twelve follows the writings of the four Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. All together the 16 prophets are called the Latter Prophets, as they began writing after the Division of the United Kingdom of Israel.
5. The Prophets follow the Torah, the five Books of the Law of Moses beginning with Genesis, and preceded the Writings beginning with Psalms and the Wisdom Literature in Hebrew Scripture.
6. The Latter Prophets follow Psalms and the Wisdom books in the Greek Septuagint, as well as our Christian Old Testament of the Bible.
7. Joel was a Prophet in the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the period of the Divided Kingdom (930-722 BC).
8. The Book of Joel is Apocalyptic in nature, referring to the “Day of the Lord.”
9a.Chapters 1-2 refer to a plague of locusts which ravaged Judah at the time.
b. Chapter 2 speaks of God’s mercy (2:13-14), and the end reveals a future time of Divine intervention.
c. Chapter 3 relates the Day of Judgement and the salvation of God’s children. Cited in literary works such as Dante’s Divine Comedy, the “Valley of Jehoshaphat” (3:2 and 3:12) is a symbolic name for the place of the Last Judgement.
d. Chapter 2:28-32, which is quoted by Peter the Apostle in Acts of the Apostles 2:17-21. Luke the writer sees the Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, as the fulfillment of the first part of this passage.
B. Divisions Of The Book:
1. Chapter One:
a. Locusts Invade the Land. See Verses
b. Call to Penance. See Verses .
2. Chapter Two:
a. The day of the Lord. See Verses 1-17.
b. Blessings for God’s people. See Verses 18-21.
C. Focus On Chapter Two:
a. An Army of Insect Soldiers. Joel 2 is a more complete description of this nation of insects that has overrun Judea, describing the individual Soldiers and their actions.
b. We must read these verses carefully to notice that he is describing the locusts metaphorically to raise the reader’s emotional response.
c. Joel 2:4 says they have “the appearance of horsemen”; they do not actually look like horses or have horses, but they run as horses do, headlong and swiftly.
d. This is also a reference to their warlike activity, since the Bible connects horses with war. See Proverbs 21:31.
e. This exact comparison is made, part of the description of the fifth trumpet plague: “The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle.” Revelation 9:7.
f. Verse 5 describes their assault as so exceedingly massive and heavy that the beating of their wings sounds like chariots on the move.
g. Two verses later, Joel depicts their rush toward their prey, writing that they run “like mighty men, . . . every one marches in formation,” up and over the walls. Nothing stops or hinders them. They are a determined, unstoppable force.
h. In the King James Version, verse 8 reads, “. . . when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.” The translators of The Amplified Version seem to have a better grasp of the situation, rendering this as, “And they burst through and upon the weapons, yet they are not wounded and do not change their course.”
i. Locusts certainly would not be hurt by landing on a sword, and trying to kill millions of them with ordinary hand weapons would be a futile endeavor indeed.
j. The following verse shows them in firm control of every part of the city, running wherever they please. They climb into houses through the windows and any other opening, covering the walls and roofs, part of the living quarters at the time.
k. No soldier with actual weapons at the ready would try to climb through a window if a doorway were readily available! Going in through a window would be an awkward and dangerous way of entering a building. But for locusts, such an entry would be natural.
l. In Joel 2:11, God takes responsibility for this “nation” of insect soldiers on the march: “The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it?”
m. He repeats His ownership of this army in verse 25, calling it once again “My great army which I sent among you.” He sent it as punishment for sin and breaking the covenant, and the locusts did their jobs with brutal efficiency.