Joel 1:1-14

Talks for Growing Christians

A Severe Locust Plague Comes Upon Israel

Joel 1:1-14

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God uses natural disasters to speak to a nation.
  2. God uses natural disasters to speak to His people.

Practical Application

  1. Remember Mount St. Helen’s.


  1. What do we know about Joel?
  2. Read Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; and 3:14. What is the theme of Joel’s prophecy?
  3. Most likely, the prophecy of Joel was written between 835 and 830 B.C. How was this date determined?
  4. What is the difference between the historical aspect of the day of the Lord and the eschatological aspect of the day of the Lord?
  5. Name two of the earliest written prophetic books.


  1. Only what is in Joel 1:1 – that he was the son of Pethuel and that this prophetic book was the word of the Lord.
  2. The theme is “the day of the Lord.”
  3. One indication is the mention of Tyre and Sidon, cities of ancient Phoenicia. Phoenicia and Philistia were enemies of Israel early in her history as a nation. Also, Edom’s violence against Judah occurred early in Israel’s history as a nation.
  4. The Day of the Lord can be defined as a time when the Lord intervenes in the affairs of a nation, bringing judgment or blessing. The historical aspect is that some of the prophecies have already been fulfilled. The eschatological or future aspect is that part of the prophecies that awaits fulfillment.
  5. Joel and Obadiah.


  1. Joel describes a devastating locust plague in the land of Israel. Because of this plague, every realm of life was disrupted in the land. God used natural disasters to speak to nations in the past. He used them to cause people to realize that they are not independent of Him. Do you believe that God is using natural disasters today to speak to nations? Discuss some of the natural disasters that have occurred in recent years.
  2. Israel would have known that God was speaking to them with this locust plague. In the Mosaic Law, God had said that if His people would not trust and obey Him, He would send the consuming locusts as discipline. See Deuteronomy 28:38. In this case, it had a good result. The people realized that God was speaking and they responded with prayer and fasting (Joel 1:13). The principle of 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 still applies today. We should call for a national day of prayer? What about each of us as individuals? Do you fast and pray when you believe that God is speaking to you?


  1. The eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s in 1980 in Washington state was a natural disaster. God used this eruption to denounce the false theory of evolution. (Review notes on practical application in this lesson). Do you look for God’s voice in natural disasters?

Key Verses

  • “…the locusts have eaten the land.” Joel 1:4
  • “…the harvest of the field has perished…all the trees of the field are withered; surely joy has withered away…” Joel 1:11-12
  • “…lament…wail…come…Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly…gather all into the house of the Lord, and cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:13-14

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