The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 144 of 181
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The Use and Abuse of Joel's Prophecy.
1: 14 - 2: 11.
pp. 1 - 10
Joel 1: 14 - 3: 21 can come under the heading of "call to repent" and as such its
structure is as follows:
1: 14. Call to fast
1: 15. Reason
1: 16-20. Consequences
2: 1a. Call to blow the trumpet
2: 1b. Reason
2: 2-11. Consequences
2: 12, 13a. Call to fast
2: 13b. Reason
2: 14. Consequences
2: 15-17a. Call to blow the trumpet
2: 17b. Reason
2: 18 - 3: 21. Consequences
In this study we shall look in detail at the first half of this structure; that is at
Joel 1: 14 - 2: 11.
Joel 1: 14. The call by Joel for a solemn assembly should remind the people of Judah
of such events recorded in the law of Moses (Lev. 23: 36; Num. 29: 35; Deut. 16: 8).
At these, the people were told to do no servile work but to bring sacrifices and so there
would be food. Here Joel precedes the call for a solemn assembly with the call for a fast
probably because the people were unable to supply certain of the offerings (Joel 1: 9, 13)
but fasting was associated with the forgiveness of sin and the Day of Atonement
(Lev.xvi.29) was a day of fasting. Thus forgiveness may have been behind the call, for
Joel does later call the people to repent. Also, bearing in mind that in the past the people
had abused the solemn assemblies to such an extent that the Lord had said "it is an
iniquity, even the solemn assembly" (Isa. 1: 13) and that King Jehu had set up a solemn
assembly for the worship of Baal (II Kings 10: 19-21), it may be that Joel wanted to
emphasize that such an assembly was of no value unless the heart of the people was
penitent. Thus a solemn assembly is called and the people told to fast. All the elders and
all the inhabitants of the land are gathered into the house of God and told to "cry unto the
Lord". Why?
"Cry unto the Lord,
Alas for the day!
for the Day of the Lord is at hand,
and as a destruction from the Almighty it shall come."