Joel, Micah, & Zephaniah Lesson 122
- What nation is addressed in this verse?
- For what purpose are they called together? See verses 2, 3.
What decree is the subject of this verse?
- What are those addressed in this verse to “seek”?
- Where are the seekers to be hidden? See Isa. 26:20; see also the E.G. White comments in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary on Isa. 26:20, 19. Are both living righteous and dead righteous in need of protection?
- When does this threatened judgment become reality?
- Why does verse 4 follow verse 3?
- Who are the remnant of verse 7b?
- d. When does the Lord do the restoring predicted in verse 7d?
- Who is “my people” in verse 8c?
- Who is the “remnant” and the “remainder” of verse 9?
- Who is “they” in verse 10, and “them” in verse 11?
- What is unusual about the message of verses 8-11?
- List the nations other than Israel addressed here.
- Who is “the exultant city” of verse 15?
- Why does God bring judgments on these nations? See verse 11.
- What is the message of these verses?
Summarize the teachings of these verses.
- To avoid God’s anger, to seek the Lord, and to be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.
Chapter one is the decree spoken of in this verse.
- Before the day of the Lord’s anger.
- The question of where God’s people are to be hidden in directly answered by Scripture and Mrs. White. Note the following:
“when we put away our sins and come to Him in faith, He takes our names on His lips, and presents them to His Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; I know them by name.’ And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial He will say, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not to this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself.” E.G. White, quoted in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1143.
This material answers very well the questions this writer has had about the protection of the living righteous, but it leaves a very interesting question unanswered; are the dead righteous who are sleeping as they wait for Jesus to return in any danger, or are they protected as are the righteous? By being in the grave, are they not in the land of the enemy?
Notice the following concept:
“The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Savior that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead.” Ibid.
- In the day of the Lord’s anger.
- Because verse 3d gives the timing for the events of verse 4.
- Those who responded to the invitation of 2:1, 3.
- The Lord restores after He has completed the retributive-judgment destructions of the day of the Lord; after 2:4-6.
- The territory of Israel; note verse 8d.
- Those of Israel who responded to the Lords’ directions in verse 1 and 3, and made the necessary preparation; those who were hidden in verse 3c.
- Those who have coveted God’s people’s land (v. 8d), and persecuted His followers (v. 8c).
- What is unusual in the message presented in these verses is the declaration that goes beyond God’s punishing the wicked and rewarding His followers; the statement that God’s people will plunder the wicked, and inherit their land (v. 9d). (We also encountered this concept in Micah 5:5b, 6.)
- Verses 4-7 are Philistine cities and people.
Moab and Ammon (verses 8-11)
Ethiopia (verse 12)
Assyria (verses 13-15). (Ninevah was, of course, the capitol city of Assyria.)
- Ninevah, the capitol of Assyria.
- God’s judgments fall on these nations because of their treatment of Israel in part, but most directly because at this point in time it is God’s work to “starve all the gods of the earth” (verse 11). Unity of worship will bring about unity of nations, in this writer’s opinion.
- These verses tell us that those nations who have lived close enough to Israel to know what God has said to His people, and what He has done to His nation, will be judged by the standard Israel is judged by.
The central teaching of this chapter is that there is a proper time for responding to the invitations and threatenings of God; that there is no place of escape for the wicked when judgment comes, but the righteous will be protected over and over, with each new judgment that is poured out on those who rejected God’s threatenings and invitations.