Joel is the second book of the minor prophets in the Old Testament. We read Hosea back in September. From now until the end of the year, we will start every day with a reading in the minor prophets. Joel’s name means “Yahweh is God.” It is quite possible that Joel is one of the earliest of the prophets. He is called the ‘prophet of Pentecost’, since Peter quoted from Joel in his speech in Acts 2. The occasion of Joel’s message was a devastating plague of locusts, which foreshadows the ‘Day of the Lord’— a time not for comfort for God’s people, but for punishment because of their sins.
God said in Isaiah 43,
“For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon,
forcing the Babyloniansb to flee in those ships they are so proud of.
God said that the people of Israel had become tired of God and tired of bringing sacrifices. God will do something new:
25“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.
These frequently quoted words are from the beginning of the chapter:
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Paul wrote such personal words to Timothy in chapter 1 of 2 Timothy. What was the spiritual gift that Timothy received when Paul placed his hands on him? Paul wanted Timothy to fan that gift into flame. Is there a clue to what the gift was in the next verse?—
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Paul says, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
What has Paul entrusted to the Lord? Is it a clue when Paul says,
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.”