We’re never so far gone that God doesn’t offer a way back to him.
I. The Locust Swarm and Destruction (v.2-4)
At a time of a national catastrophe in Judah, Joel called the people to return to God. Their only hope was in Him. He helped them connect what was happening and what God wanted to have happen in His people.
Joel is asking the question concerning the locusts devastation on the land.
v.2b-3 – “Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children and their children to another generation.”
v.4 – “What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.”
II. The Call to Repentance (v.5-18)
The book of Joel is a prophetic book that is calling the nation of Israel to repentance. Joel doesn’t acknowledge any particular reason or sin causing their judgment but seems to pull from various prophecies in other books.
v.13 – “Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Go in, pass the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God.”
In the culture of the day, these were the natural, normal acts of people who are mourning a great loss. And yet, repentance should be a time of hope for us, knowing that God extends mercy to those who engage in it. We don’t have to feel hopeless about the outcome; repentance is provided as a way back.
v.15 – “Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.”
III. The Prophet Leads the Way (v.19,20)
v.19 – “To you, O LORD, I call…”
As the first to call to repentance, the prophet had to be the first to heed the warning. He had to lead by example and motivate the people to respond.