Joel 1:15-2:17

Talks for Growing Christians

A Description of Day of the Lord

Joel 1:15-2:17

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The day of the Lord was partially fulfilled in the past.
  2. The day of the Lord will be completely fulfilled in the future.

Practical Application

  1. Rend your heart and not your garments.


  1. What is does “the day of the Lord” mean?
  2. Is the prophetic day of the Lord a day for blessing or for judgment?
  3. Why is the concept of the day of the Lord sometimes confusing?
  4. Explain why the prophets, in some cases, didn’t distinguish between current and future prophecy.
  5. Did the military invasion in Joel 2 already take place in history, or will it take place in the future?


  1. In general, the day of the Lord is any time that the Lord intervenes in the affairs of nations.
  2. The day of the Lord could bring either blessing or for judgment.
  3. It is confusing because there is both a historical aspect and an eschatological aspect to the day of the Lord. In the Old Testament, it can be confusing when both aspects are present in the same passage.
  4. The prophets themselves did not always know.
  5. Many of the conditions described in the early part of Joel Chapter 2 have already been fulfilled in history, with the Assyrian invasion of the land in the 8th Century B.C. and the Babylonian invasion in the 6th Century B.C. But there is more to come for Israel.


  1. The prophet Joel realized that the locust plague of Chapter 1 had been a precursor of the coming day of the Lord. The day of the Lord would involve the invasion of Israel by a military army. There had been a famine of both food and joy because of the locust plague. These sad conditions foreshadowed the military invasion which was to follow. Do you see precursor today that point to the day of the Lord?
  2. Read Matthew 24:24-30 and Joel 2:30-31. Notice the eschatological language that our Lord used in the Olivet Discourse when he spoke of His second coming. Does Joel 3:2 sound like the future judgments of the nations Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25? Remember, the day of the Lord will be completely fulfilled in the future.


  1. Refer to Joel 2:12-13. “Rend your heart and not your garments.” A second call was made for national repentance, just as it was after the locust plague. This call for repentance was in view of the judgment to come upon the nation through the invading enemy army. God used the plague and the invasion to discipline His people. Re-read the signs of true repentance in Joel 2:13-14. True repentance means returning to the Lord based on His grace and mercy alone and not our own merits. Joel 2:17 points out that true repentance is more concerned about the glory of God than our own reputation. Is God using something in your life to discipline you and bring you back to Himself? Is there an area in your life right now where you need to repent?

Key Verses

  • “Alas for the day! The day of the Lord is at hand; coming as destruction from the Almighty.” Joel 1:15
  • “The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it?” Joel 2:11
  • “’Return to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’” Joel 2:12
  • “Rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” Joel 2:13
  • “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?” Joel 2:17

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