The book of Joel talks about the God who rules the universe in every way and who is strong enough (and in control enough) to save his people in Joel’s day, now, and in the future… even by way of judgment.
In this sermon from Imprint Church in Woodinville, we continue our look at the Minor Prophets with a one week overview of the book of Joel. Joel helps us to see the purpose of God’s judgment instead of just focusing on the details about what judgment will be.
Joel also drives home the idea that we have to devote ourselves to our relationship with God. Relationships are complex, it’s no different with God. God has revealed himself in the Word, and so we are to devote our time to understanding him.
What Joel Says About Our Complex God
Some of the key learning points in this sermon along with the point in the recording where you can find them are:
- The book of Joel can be broken into three parts:
- A Cultural Context – A locust plague swept the nation (7:40)
- A Broader Context – What the locust invasion means to God’s people (8:35)
- A Future Context – A look at what the invasion symbolizes in the future (9:15)
- Scripturally, there are reasons for natural disasters and other “Acts of God”
- God’s Judgment – When sin entered the world, God sent a curse on the ground (19:55)
- God’s Discipline – Some crises in our lives are interventions, not punishments (22:15)
- God’s Allowance – God is allowing something to happen because of his choice of giving people free choice (23:25)
- In the midst of a really hard situation we have to ask ourselves, is it God’s judgment, His discipline, or His allowance? (26:45)
- As it is used by Joel, “the Day of the Lord” refers to any day in which the Lord God shows his desire to rule over everything. (30:55)
- God doesn’t leave us in judgment. The point of this terrible judgment of the day of the Lord is to bring people to repentance. (35:55)
Joel Sermon Recording
A recording of the Imprint Church sermon on the book of Joel is available below or you can download the audio podcast for your iPod.
Here are the small group questions for our Imprint Church Christian community groups.
- Read the entire book of Joel (3 chapters). You may want to read it several times in different versions.
- How do you react to the subject of “God’s judgment”? Explore your reaction or why you feel the way you do about it.
- What does Joel mean by “the day of the Lord”? He uses it five times (1:15, 2:1, 11, 31, & 3:14).
- Chapter 1 focuses on a major crisis that the people faced. How would or do you respond to crisis in your life?
- In Joel, the crisis pointed to God’s discipline. In what ways does God discipline his people today, either individually or corporately?
- Joel tells us that in spite of great judgment, God will also provide great blessing. What does that “blessing” refer to? How is it possible for God to do this when even his people have sinned? What lessons can we learn from this?
- What does it mean when Joel writes (2:28) “… I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”?
- Peter, in Acts 2:16-21 quotes from Joel. Why does Peter refer to Joel? And in what way does Joel connect to what Peter is saying? How does this promise apply to us today?
- What has Joel taught you about the day of the Lord? How has this day already come (and how are we living in light of the day of the Lord), and why can we say that it will still come in the future, too?
- Scripture assures us that one day “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11). What does this mean? Why is this so important? How are you getting prepared for that?
- Prayer focus:
- Ask God to show you where your inner life is in crisis & how you need to repent.
- Take time to “praise the name of the Lord your God” for the wonders he has worked for you (2:26).
- Ask God to make you always ready for his return.