On verses 1-21: While everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved from God’s wrath (Joel 2:32) and blessed abundantly (2:18-32), the opposite is also true: those who do not trust in the Lord, who reject the Lord as God, will suffer God’s wrath. This fact is the focus of Joel’s final chapter as Joel describes God’s commitment to judging and punishing those who reject Him. In particular, Joel focuses on how God will punish those who mistreat God’s people.
From these verses we learn that:
– God is a judge who puts on trial those who hurt His people (v2).
– God is fully committed to protecting, defending and avenging His people against those who try to hurt them (v.3-8)
– God is the worst enemy to those who mistreat His people. He challenges them to a fight that they cannot win (v.9-14)
– God is “a refuge for His people, a stronghold” (v16). God is able — with great love and self-control — to separate those who belong to Him from those who don’t. He will shelter and protect His people from His wrath and provide abundantly for them (v17-21).
What can we learn from this? God takes personally how you and I treat His children. It’s like any parent who is affected greatly by the way someone else treats his or her child. Those who reject God by rejecting His people will end up being like ancient Egypt and Edom: “desolate…a desert waste”. But those who trust God will live with Him forever.
That brings our look at the book of Joel to a close. What is the most important lesson you learned from the book of Joel? Feel free to let me know. I’d love to hear!
Heavenly Father, thank You for the book of Joel. From this book we learn that no matter how desperate or dire our situation may be, there is hope when we humble ourselves before You and call on Your name. Thank You that You are faithful to help and protect Your people, and You are also faithful to judge and punish those who reject Your people too. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!