The Message of Joel: The Day of the Lord

The Message of Joel: The Day of the LordText: Joel 1:14-15

In this series, we are going to do an overview of the Minor Prophets. The goal is to (1) understand the overall theme of each book and (2) see what lessons there are for us. In this lesson, we are going to see what we can learn from the book of Joel.

Historical Context

  • Some uncertainty as to the date – possibly during the time of Joash (850 BC) or Uzziah (730 BC)
  • Described a great famine and a call to repentance
  • Looked forward to God’s deliverance of His people and judgment over the nations

Overall Theme: The Day of the Lord

  • This phrase is used 5 times in this short book
  • What is “the day of the Lord“? – used different ways in this book as (1) a day of destruction (1:15; 2:1-3); (2) a day of deliverance (2:30-32); and (3) a day of judgment (3:11-14)
  • Significant that Peter used a passage from Joel on the day of Pentecost (2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21) – Pentecost/Feast of Weeks was a celebration of the harvest (Leviticus 23:16); harvest theme of Pentecost/Joel fit well with the harvest of souls in Acts 2

Main Points

  • A great famine had come – unprecedented (1:2-3); devastating (1:4, 10-12); blessings would be cut off (1:5-7); offerings to God could not be made (1:9, 13); with this came a call to repentance (1:14; 2:12-14)
  • God was going to offer salvation – He would be zealous for His land and have pity on His people (2:18-20); their prosperity would return (2:23-27); more importantly, salvation would come (2:28-32)
  • The nations would be judged – they sinned against God and His people (3:4-8); their destruction would come as God’s judgment against them (3:9-17)
  • All of these pointed toward the day of Pentecost and the establishment of the church – (1) the people were suffering a spiritual famine (cf. Amos 8:11) and rejected the one who could provide them with spiritual nourishment (John 6:35, 66); (2) salvation was offered (Acts 2:21, 36-41), but it would require genuine repentance (2:12-13; cf. Acts 2:36-38); (3) the establishment of the church was a judgment against the nations (Psalm 2:1-6; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 1:20-23)

Lessons for Us

  • We need to let the Bible explain itself – confusion about the “day of the Lord” (2:28-32), yet Peter explained what this meant (Acts 2:16); we need to accurately handle the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Repentance must be genuine – produced by godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10); we are to give up sin, not continue in it (Romans 6:1-2)
  • The church was not an accident – other prophets prophesied of this event (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:44); part of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10-11)


  • Joel shows us the importance of the day of the Lord
  • They were to look forward to the salvation at Pentecost
  • We look forward to salvation in heaven

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