Daily Devotional

August 27, 2018

Daybreak: Joel 1:1-20

“Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” (Joel 1:3)

As human beings, we learn by repetition. If you have ever memorized a chapter of the Bible or learned to type without looking at the keys, you know this. Perhaps you had a grandfather who, as you were growing up, told and retold stories about his youth. No doubt in your mind you can still hear him telling them. 

All of us have personally experienced this principle. For example, when I was in fourth grade, I had to learn my multiplication tables in order to pass, and I practiced them over and over. Now, many years later, I still know them. When my son was practicing the piano, I saw this principle illustrated again. He would play a difficult measure repeatedly. Yes, at times it was tiresome to hear, but it was necessary in order for him to learn to play it right. And the things we learn through repetition, we will remember!

The Lord knows how we learn best, and He knows it is easy for us to forget. That is why He tells us to continually rehearse His promises of blessings and His sure judgments to our children. Then, when they are grown, they will teach their children, so the message will carry on to successive generations. As long as we live, we can influence later generations. If we do not have children or grandchildren, we can be mentors to neighborhood children or church friends.

In order for us to be good teachers or mentors, we must commune with the Lord regularly. We must study His Word continually. We must talk about the Lord repeatedly. Learning the multiplication tables or a piano piece can get boring; however, as we study and rehearse the precepts and concepts of the Lord, they become richer and deeper. We will enjoy it more and more!

Background

The Book of Joel likely was written between 837 B.C. and 796 B.C. Athaliah usurped the throne in Judah in 841 B.C. and Joash became king in 835 B.C. There had been much sin and corruption in the land, and Joel wrote to the people of Judah to warn them of God’s judgments for disobedience. 

The theme that recurs throughout the book is the warning of the day of the Lord, in which God’s judgments for sin would be poured out. Joel warned the people of Judah to inform their children and each succeeding generation about the consequences of turning from the Lord. 

In chapter 1, Joel described a great plague of locusts bringing terrible devastation upon the land. When locusts invade, the swarms are so thick that the sky is blackened and the earth is covered. Every speck of vegetation is devoured. After the locusts, Joel described a great famine and drought that would ravage the land. These were just a foretaste of the day of the Lord. Although Joel was referring to a day of judgment from God upon Judah, there are overtones of a great and final day of the Lord, when all sinful mankind will face judgment. 

Joel pled with Judah to cry unto the Lord, and to fast and pray for mercy. In subsequent chapters Joel referred to a time of hope and blessing if the people would repent and turn from their sins.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.   Introduction (1:1)
II.   The day of the Lord in Joel’s time (1:2-20)
      A.   The disastrous locust plague (1:2-14)
            1.   The destruction of the plague (1:2-4)
                  a.   The rehearsal of the plague (1:2-3)
                  b.   The totality of the plague (1:4)
            2.   The directions to the people (1:5-14)
                  a.   The drunkards (1:5-7)
                  b.   The people (1:8-12)
                  c.   The priests (1:13-14)
      B.   The disastrous drought (1:15-20)
            1.   The nature of the drought (1:15)
            2.   The effect of the drought (1:16-20)
                  a.   On daily life (1:16-17)
                  b.   On animal life (1:18-20)

A Closer Look

  1. What did Joel admonish the people to do in order to avert God’s judgment?
     
  2. The land of Judah was enjoying prosperity before Joel’s prophecy. Why do you think the plagues were a blessing to these people?
     
  3. What are some ways you can influence people of a younger generation toward the Lord? 

Conclusion

We want to remind ourselves and those around us to prepare for the great day of the Lord. This will take repetition — daily awareness of God’s instructions to us. God will help us if we keep looking to Him.

Reference Materials