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Joel Chapter 1


The best strong hold against anti-Semitism is the study of the book of Joel. If more of us would study the book of Joel, we would see more clearly that Israel is very much a part of the heart of God both in the past and in the future. There would be no anti-Semitism in the church if we would receive the proper understanding of God's dealings with Israel and His eternal purpose for Israel.

The church never replaces Israel and never did they become spiritual Israel. The true believers in Jesus Christ become adopted into Israel by faith in Jesus but we never replace or supplant Israel.

Those that rejected the gospel were removed from the vine temporarily but they will be grafted in again as soon as they begin to repent of sin and recognize the Messiah that their ancestors rejected. Actually not all Jews rejected Jesus. On the day of Pentecost thousands received the Holy Spirit, not just the apostles. 

The book of Joel needs to be studied along with the book of Acts because the book of Acts records the partial fulfillment of Joel. The latter rain or the latter part of the fulfillment of Joel takes place just before the Second coming of Jesus Christ. The beginning of this came to the Gentile believers just before the twentieth century and continues this present day but that is only a trickle compared to the latter day outpouring that will come upon Israel when they turn to Jesus Christ.

Thousands of Jews are already coming to Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. This started in the latter part of the twentieth century and continues now in the twenty first century. I rejoice in this. All true believers in Jesus will rejoice in the salvation of Israel. True believers will never reject Israel or join in armies surrounding Israel for their destruction. 

  • Joel 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 
  • 2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 
  • 3 Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 

God commanded Israel to always teach His word to their children and in turn the children were to pass it down from one generation to another. They didn't always do this, so as a result, many departed from God and started to mimic the nations around them and serve the gods of those nations. Later they became slaves to other nations to whom they desired to become like. 

We today will become slaves or in bondage to whatever we desire over and above our Lord Jesus Christ. If we reject Christ and prefer to remain in sin, that sin will consume us. We literally become slaves to sin. 

  • 4 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten. 

By departing from God, they did not have his protection and the elements were against them. They were plagued with famine and loss of material blessings. Bad things do happen to try our faith but in the end we come out better off. Many times though bad happens because we have departed from God and His hand of protection is not as strong with us as it was before.

A nation that fears God will be blessed materially but that doesn't mean that all poor nations are necessarily out of God's will. There will be poor among us to see if we will help them. The bible does not teach the modern day prosperity doctrine. We need to take heed the words of Jesus and seek the true riches which are spiritual, not material.

He will supply our needs if we trust in Him but we need to be seeking the spiritual riches, not the riches which will pass away. If we are blessed materially we have a great responsibility to do good for the poor and not despise them by assuming they are out of God's favor.

It is true that Israel lost their land many times because they strayed from the true God and served idols. Without God they were prey to their enemies. The enemy has more strength if we depart from God. 

Where ever people fear the Lord, evil is restrained. They become the restrainer or those that hinder lawlessness if they are filled with and are led by the Holy Spirit. When those same people depart from God, He doesn't stay where He is not wanted. If He departs evil becomes stronger. Naturally we will not prosper spiritual or materially if that happens.  

  • Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. 
  • 6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. 

Without God's protection, other wicked nations will be able to come up against a weak nation and overtake them. Only by God's power can the weak be stronger than the enemy whether the enemy is a real army or the enemy of our souls which is Satan. 

  • Joel 1:7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. 
  • 8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. 

At one time a virgin without any hope for a husband would be considered without hope or in despair. This is also symbolic of a young bride without her bridegroom. Israel without God or without the Messiah is like a virgin with no bridegroom. 

  • Joel 1:9 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD's ministers, mourn. 
  • 10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. 
  • 11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. 
  • 12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. 

They lost all joy, comfort, substance and hope because God allowed their destruction for a season. The remedy is the same then as it is now. Repentance and turning back to God. 

  • Joel 1:13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God. 
  • 14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, 

Assembling together and calling upon God is necessary for things to turn around. A word of caution here is that we truly repent and seek the spiritual things of God and not just seek God for material restoration. If we just seek physical healing, jobs, food, shelter and clothing and neglect the restoration spiritually back to God, we will end up in the same shape and condition we were before we sought God.

Some today come to God for physical help and material blessings and do not repent of sin or receive God's spirit into their lives. They go so far to get relief but they do not go on to turning their lives completely over to God and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. By repenting of sin and receiving Jesus Christ which is our salvation, God in turn gives the Holy Spirit to abide with us continually. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit we cannot live for God in love and peace. 

  • Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 

This may be a double prophecy here of judgment and captivity of that day by Babylon, the Medes and Persians, Greeks and Romans and also of latter day troubles we call the tribulation when the armies of the world gather together against Israel. 

  • Joel 1:16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 
  • 17 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. 

Outward lack of food and substance is similar to what happens to a soul who neglects the spiritual things that come from God. Our soul can become lean and hungry just like our body can. This reminds me of a person who is completely concerned only with this life. He seeks a good education, a high paying job, a nice home, car, clothes and furniture but takes no thought to his eternal soul. What profit is it when we gain the whole world and lose our souls. 

  • Joel 1:18 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. 

Our disobedience can affect innocent animals. 

  • Joel 1:19 O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. 
  • 20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness. 

When we stray from God, anything can happen. It's not as if God is sitting in heaven waiting for us to sin so He can bring judgment. NO. When we stray from God, His hand of protection is not there to keep evil from us. We must as a nation be careful not to cast God out. 

We can't have a theocracy until the return of Christ because we are but men (women) who can get into error by substituting our own commandments instead of God's. How do I know that? Just read an unbiased version of church history. It was a mess when church and state united. That can only be done under Christ at His literal return.

To cast God out altogether and forbid public worship and acknowledging Him in the public sector is a big mistake. Without His hand of protection a nation will be given over to sin. Eventually it will be destroyed. When God leaves, the enemy becomes stronger. How do I know? Read history. Evil increases from generation to generation. Eventually it gets so bad that God has to allow its destruction. 

Already we have abortion which kills innocent children. When a government begins to allow legalized murder of innocent children, it isn't long until it will be given over to more evil and eventually destroyed.

Another thing that brings hurt to a nation is its treatment of Israel. The bible say's concerning the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you."  That verse is unchanged. God will allow wicked nations to punish Israel when Israel sins but then He will punish the nations that harm them.

Sexual immorality will also destroy a nation. It breaks up families and takes what God created as good and makes it evil. It will not only destroy society as a whole but cause disease to increase.

England used to be a mighty nation that ruled many colonies all over the world until they turned their backs on the Jews. Spain used to be a mighty nation until after the Spanish Inquisition. Germany was once a mighty nation under Hitler but the mighty has fallen. It did not last. We will not get away with anti-Semitism, not now or ever. God's promise to Abraham is still in effect. 

We must not attempt to divide the nation of Israel.