Summary of passage: God pleads with His people to repent with their hearts and with fasting, weeping, and mourning. He is compassionate and will relent. Everyone gather and fast and offer offerings to God. God will take pity on His people and bless them with crops and wine and oil and abundance. He will drive out the northern army and repay them for the locust plague. The people will have plenty and praise Him.
6a) Because we have sinned against Him which cannot go unpunished by a righteous God and He is omnipotent. Judgment reveals truth; otherwise, how would we recognize good from bad? Basically, God sets the rules and we abide by them or face the consequences He chooses.
b) Personal Question. My answer: If you believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior, you are saved. If you ask for forgiveness, you are forgiven. If you repent, God washes you. If God is first, you are His.
7a) Repent with their hearts and with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Offer up offerings to Him. Gather the people and call a sacred assembly and consecrate them. Let the priests weep and beg for the Lord to spare His people.
b) “Gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
8 ) The Lord will take pity on His people and send them abundance: grain, wine, oil, fruit, vineyard, green pastures, and plenty to eat. He will drive out the northern army. He will repay them for the locust years.
9) Personal Question. My answer: His punishments are for our good so we’ll turn to Him. It’s not meant in an evil way or just to see us suffer. It’s so we’ll remember who’s in charge. Judgment keeps us abiding in Him and constantly striving to be worthy of Him. It keeps us walking towards Him all of our lives–one step at a time.
Conclusions: Number 6 has nothing to do with this passage and the answer is not in this passage. Otherwise, great passage where we see all of God–God the judge and God the compassionate, full of mercy and grace and forgiveness. We need to understand both to understand God.
End Notes: In the Old Testament, both men and women tore their clothes as a sign of sorrow and mourning (some in the Middle East still do). Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, David, and Job all did. Here, Joel was emphasizing change on the inside not on the outside.
We repent because of God’s kindness (Romans 2:4). Joel emphasizes this by listing all the blessings God will give if the people repent.
Joel repeats himself in Joel 1:14 but adds how everyone must stop what they are doing and repent now. He uses the bride and bridegroom as an example because it’s one of the most important events in people’s lives. God comes first.
The leaders of the church (priests) must lead the people in begging for forgiveness. Joel gives them a great prayer example in verse 17: Ask God, remind Him you are His, and say how His forgiveness will bring Him glory to unbelievers (other nations).
Verse 21: Rejoice ahead of time. Know God will answer your prayers and thank Him for it.
Ancient Israel did not have irrigation systems. They were totally reliant upon rainfall for their crops to prosper. God will restore all.
God can give you back even the years you wasted in sin just like with the locust years. The wasted blessings and fruits may still be yours if you turn to Him.