Return to the Lord
October 30, 2022
- Joel was written roughly around 525 BC. This would be after Israel was taken into exile by the Babylonians and about 10-15 years into their return to the land God promised.
- Though there is no consensus on the actual date of Joel, we see several details in the text that would suggest a post-exilic date:  Exile treated as past event (3:2-3),  conquest of Jerusalem (3:17),  no king is mentioned,  the temple plays a positive role with no prophetic denouncement against idolatry or syncretism as mentioned in Hosea and Amos,  anger toward Edom best explained by their treatment of Israel when the Babylonians invaded.
- The date and situation of Joel led to the opening question: what do you believe about God when the pain of life returns?
JOY IS DRIED UP
- Compounded suffering drains our joy in God. Joy being the resolute assurance that God is present in my pain and powerful toward my problems.
- Follow the verbs…
- Hear/Listen (1:2)
- Tell your kids (1:3)
- Wake-up (1:5)
- Grieve (1:8)
CALL TO REPENTANCE
- Lament (1:13)
- Tear your hearts (2:13)
- Turn to God with your whole heart (2:12)
- Question: How do you tend to understand the character of God when he calls you to repentance?
WHO IS GOD IN OUR SUFFERING?
- “Return to the Lord your God. For he is…
- Slow to Anger
- Abounding in Faithful Love
WHAT GOD DOES IN RESPONSE TO OUR SUFFERING
- He ‘s Working, so Keep Watching (2:19)
- He is Kind, so Rejoice (2:21-23)
- He Restores (Compare Habakkuk 3:17-18 and Joel 2:25-27, holding both as true).