Thoughts About What We’re Reading!
Well we’re back! After our Advent series and Christmas break, it is time to get back to our reading!
We will be finishing up the Old Testament in the next few weeks and then moving on to a new specific plan during Lent starting on Ash Wednesday, February 18th, leading up to Easter.
Following Easter, we will begin a New Testament reading plan that will carry us until the next Advent season. That’s right, Christmas is only 11 1/2 months away!
This week, we are finishing up the book of Ezekiel, you can refresh your memory with my blog on Ezekiel prior to the Advent break.
If you’ve been hanging in with the reading so far, I have applaud you for a job well done – pat yourself on the back! Only a few more weeks and you will have completed the Old Testament!
Today however, I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the book of Joel as we will be reading through that book in our reading plan on the way to Daniel, our focus for next week’s blog.
As I write this, the stock market had one of its largest drops in quite a while. When things like this happen, it is a gentle reminder (and in some cases maybe a not so gentle reminder) how temporal our holdings and investments can be.
In much the same way, the book of Joel begins with a description of the total devastation caused by locusts in the land of Judah. We are told in Matthew that John the Baptist used to eat them!
Now there’s much debate between scholars about when the book of Joel was written and whether the invasion of the locusts was an actual event or an illustration for the people of Israel.
Regardless, we need to keep in mind when reading the book of Joel, we read both the bad news of God’s judgment and the good news of His promised deliverance.
We can take the book of Joel and divide it into two parts. The first part concerns the day of the Locusts and runs from Chapter 1 through Chapter 2 verse 27. From verse 28, through the remainder of the book we read about the coming day of the Lord.
When I was reading through the book of Joel last month, I had a couple of commentaries on hand, one by James Montgomery Boice and one by Jon Courson. Boice by far is my favorite commentator but Courson approaches his commentary from an application point of view and I like that as well.
I want to share with you the following from Courson’s Application Commentary, Old Testament, Volume 2 regarding the Book of Joel:
“Three things happen simultaneously in this short but powerful book. First, Joel was speaking to the people practically. After all, they had seen their land, their investments, their future wiped out by locusts.
Second, he was speaking to the people prophetically. That is, he was talking about the day of the Lord, a day yet to come.
Third, he was actually speaking to us personally. You see, maybe in the last year, your marriage, ministry, business, or family has been eaten away by locusts of one kind or another.
Take heart! This book is for you because Joel addresses the issue for those who feel as if they’ve been eaten up, destroyed, setback, or devoured in any area of life.”
May the Book of Joel be a blessing to you.
Until next time… Keep reading!