Joel, Micah, & Zephaniah Lesson 3
Joel – the Historical Message
Chapter 3 Assignment Questions
- To what days does “in those days and at that time” refer in verse 1?
- Who is called to judgment in verse 2 and why?
- Who is “them” in verse 7?
- Who is “I” in verse 8?
- Who sells sons and daughters in verse 3? Who does the selling of sons and daughters in verse 8?
- What is the message of verse 8 in the light of verse 4?
- Who is to beat their plowshares into swords in verse 10a?
- What is “this” in verse 9a?
- Where is “there” in verse 11b?
- What is the message here?
Joel 3:12, 13
- Who is “I” in verse 12c?
- Is Israel to be judged in the judgment of verse 12?
- Who is the spokesman in verse 13, and to whom does he speak?
- What is the content of the day of the Lord in this verse? Is it the events of Joel 1:4-12 and 16-20? Is it the events of Joel 2:3-10? Is it the events of Joel 2:28-31? Is it the events of Joel 3:1, 2, 12, 13?
- Do the events of this verse precede, follow, or occur simultaneously with the day of the Lord? Support your answer from the book of Joel.
- When do these events occur, or, what is their relationship to the day of the Lord of verse 14? Do they precede it, follow it, or are the events of these verses separated at some point by the activities of the day of the Lord – some preceding it and some following?
- Do verses 18-20 reflect Old Testament eschatology or New Testament eschatology?
Joel – The Historical Message
- “Those days” are the days of blessing. In Joel’s book the ‘first’ events are acts of destruction by God to turn His people to righteousness. The ‘second’ events are the times of blessing such as are described in 2:18-20, 26, 28, and 29. The ‘second’ events are the forerunners to the day of the Lord – the ‘third’ event. The fourth ‘event’ in Joel is the time following the events of the day of the Lord – events such as those described in 3:18-21.
- Those called to judgment in this verse are those nations surrounding Israel (God’s people) who have abused God’s people. God’s servants are not involved in this judgment as its subjects.
- The Israelites who have suffered at the hands of the surrounding nations.
- “I” is God.
- In verse 3 the surrounding nations are selling the Israelite’s children, while in verse 8 God is selling the sons and daughters of Israel’s former persecutors.
- Joel 3:4 of course follows Joel 3:2, 3 where the nations have been destroying Israel as a nation and hurting Israelite people and their children.
In verse 4 God states that He will accept no repayment from those guilty of those actions against His people and country.
In this context the message of verse 8 is that He, God, will do to the persecutors of His people what they have done to His people; after He has exalted His abused people.
The Implied message of these verses is that there is an undefined boundary, known to God, that nations and their people may not pass over without going beyond the forgiveness of God, such as was extended in 2:21 and 22 and 28, where the beasts are encouraged and God’s spirit is promised to be poured out on all mankind.
- The nations God is entering into judgment with, and drawing to the day-of-the-Lord judgment, because of their treatment of God’s people.
- The “this” of verse 9a is the events described in 3:1-8.
- The valley of Jehoshaphat (3:2a).
- A talk-show host, in discussing on television the Biblical concept of God making the nations give an account of their deeds, remarked that if God was to come back to earth He had better be as powerful as the Bible portrays Him, for, said he, there are plenty of powerful people here who would like to kill him.
Joel 3:11c seems to have as its message a portrayal of this kind of hostility toward God as the ruler of this earth.
Joel 3:12, 13
- God, Israel’s Lord.
- God, the Judge, is here speaking; apparently to His mighty ones (3:11c).
- It is the events of Joel 3:1, 2, 12 and 13
- These events precede the day of the Lord (2:31).
- It appears to this writer that the events of Joel 3:16-21 all follow the day of the Lord of 3:12, 13, for God is here speaking from Jerusalem, and serving as their refuge and the provider of permanent blessings.
- These verses reflect Old Testament eschatology.
Joel – The Spirit of Prophecy Application
List the eschatological events Mrs. White presents as being the subject or subjects of Joel’s chapter 3 in the material quoted below. Note: Listing of subjects dealt with in material not quoted in this booklet, but relevant to the Biblical material being studied, is proper and encouraged!
Spirit of Prophecy quotations
“An earthquake marked the hour when Christ laid down His life, and another earthquake witnessed the moment when He took it up in triumph. He who had vanquished death and the grave came forth from the tomb with the tread of a conqueror, amid the reeling of the earth, the flashing of lightning, and the roaring of thunder. When He shall come to earth again, . . . ‘The Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.’ . . . Joel 3:16.” The Desire of Ages, p. 780.
“Then it will be seen that Satan’s rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself and to all that chose to become his subjects. He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ . . . Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off. An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it. . . .
“But amid the tempest of divine judgment the children of God will have no cause for fear. ‘The Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.’ Joel 3:16. The day that brings terror and destruction to the transgressors of God’s law will bring to the obedient ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory.'” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 341.
“Soon I heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and the earth.* (“”The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16 . . . ) there was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down and fell on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon this company, who a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shown upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All weariness and marks of care were gone; health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men. They could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. The graves were opened and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying: ‘Victory over death and the grave!’ and together with the living saints they were caught up to their Lord in the air, while rich, musical shouts of glory and victory proceeded from every immortal tongue.” Testimonies For the Church, vol. 1, p. 184.
(List the eschatological subjects with which Mrs. White surrounds her quotations from Joel.)
The Desire of Ages, p. 780
- The second coming of Christ.
- The “unfear” of His children.
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 341.
- The destruction of Satan and his followers.
- The destruction of sin.
- The judgment.
- The protecting of God’s children.
Testimonies, vol. 1. P. 184.
- The voice of God which shakes the heavens and the earth.