BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 11, Day 4: Joel 2:28-3:21

Summary of passage:  Joel 2:28-32: After the people repent, God will pour out His Spirit on them.  He will show wonders in heaven and earth and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Joel 3:1-21:  God will gather all nations and judge them.  The Lord will take vengeance on those who have done wrong against His people Israel.  He will sell their sons and daughters to the people of Judah like their enemies did to the Israelites.  God will dwell with His people in Zion and Jerusalem while other places will be desolate.

Questions:

10a)  Peter repeated the fact that all believers will receive the Holy Spirit indwelt “in the last days.”

b)  It serves as a sign to those of us here on earth that the Second Coming is upon us.  It also is a sign to non-believers that this is your last chance to come to Him.

11a)  After Jesus, the Holy Spirit now leads all believers.  Hence, any Christian throughout history could be said to have made an impact in some way.  I’m thinking of Joan of Arc, all the Popes, all of England’s kings and queens, the Crusades, other holy wars (think Protestants versus Catholics), Constantine, etc.

Genesis tells us the Holy Spirit created the world.  John tells the Spirit will give access to the kingdom of God to believers and lead us to truth.  2 Peter 1 tells us the Holy Sprit allows us to hear prophecy.  Now that Jesus is gone, God works through people; people make history according to God’s plan through the power of the Holy Spirit.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It prompts me to write.  To work for Him and His goals.  To teach my children about him.  To be more like Jesus.  Whatever you are doing for God is powered by and driven by the Holy Spirit.

12a)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved, delivered, and be among the survivors.  It means I don’t have to worry about the future for I will be saved.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question before.  In order to be comforted, you have to be distressed or grieved, troubled or worried.  I’m just not when it comes to the End Times.  Never have been.  Hence, Joel doesn’t comfort me.

Conclusions:  I just did a recent poll on my sidebar, asking if you were afraid of the End Times.  53% of you said “No, not at all.”  Another 21 % said “a little” and only 8 % said “yes, a lot.”

I live my life day to day.  Sure, I plan for the future.  But I don’t worry about it.  God is there, and He will always be there.  I’m wondering if people do worry about the end of the world.  I just don’t.  If it happens, there won’t be anything you can do about it.  Philippians 4:6-7 is my mantra: “Do not be anxious about anything…and the peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

End Notes:  Joel’s greatest contribution is 2:28.  This prophecy is quoted in Acts 2:14-21 by Peter in his sermon on Pentecost after Jesus rose from the dead.  This was the first time the Spirit was predicted to be upon all believers.  Under the Old Covenant, the Spirit would come upon people to help them serve God (Judges 6:34; 1 Sam 16:13) for specific tasks only:  Joseph (Genesis 41:38), craftsmen (Exodus 31:3), Joshua (Numbers 27:18), Othniel (Judges 3:10), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11:29) Samson (Judges 13:5, 14:6, 14:19, 15:14), Saul (1 Samuel 10:9-10), and David (1 Samuel 16:13).

Under the New Covenant, we all have the Spirit.  Peter uses Joel’s prophecy to explain to all (and especially to those who thought the 120 were drunk after having received the Holy Spirit–Acts 2:13) that things are different now.  Both Joel and Peter say to repent first.  Then Peter says the Holy Spirit will come (Acts 2:38).

It is important to remember:  Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled, but not CONSUMMATED.  Pentecost ushered in the last days, which we are in.  We must now continue to watch for signs (like the wonders in heaven and earth and the sun and moon).

EVERYONE who calls on the Lord will be saved.  This includes the Gentiles.  God will not turn His back on anyone who calls on Him.  He wants us all.  The more you know God, trust God, and rely on God, the more He’ll know you and your ailments and be able to help you.

Joel 3:  Joel is talking about the Last Days here, continuing from the end of Joel 2, which began at the Ascension of Jesus and the birth of the church at Pentecost.  We are in the Last Days and remember God’s “day” is not our day for it’s been almost 2000 years since that time.

Verses 1-3 were fulfilled at the return of the exiles from Babylon.  The Babylonians did seize captives, divided them up by lots, and then traded them for prostitutes and wine.  Here, God will revenge this.  This passage has an immediate fulfillment and an End-Times fulfillment.

There is no “Valley of Jehoshaphat”.  Jehoshaphat must be figurative then which means “The Lord judges”.  This prophecy is foreshadowing the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16) where all nations will gather for the final showdown with God.

The nations have mistreated His people, Israel, and the Church.  Here, God says He will avenge us.  Jesus says this will be a criteria for judgment  (Matthew 25:31-46).

God basically challenges the nations who come against Him, saying He will retaliate.  The Roman emperors beginning with Nero who persecuted Christians all were murdered or died horrible deaths.  Everyone who comes against Him will be crushed in judgment despite their preparations (Revelation 16:12-16).  God will laugh (Psalm 2:1-6).

“The winepress is full.”  Revelation 14:14-20 also uses this image of the winepress of the wrath of God to describe Jesus’ judgment on the nations at Armageddon.

“The valley of decision” is where God will decide man’s ultimate fate.  We decide to believe in Jesus and God decides the rest.

After God’s final victory, there will be abundance with water flowing (Ezekiel 47; Zechariah 14:8).

The valley of acacias (or valley of Shittim) saw both failure and victory in the Bible.  It’s located on the eastern side of the Jordan River to the north of the Dead Sea.  Here the King of Moab sent his young women to the men of Israel to seduce them into idolatry and sexual immorality (Numbers 25:1-3).  Here the armies of Israel set out against Jericho and Canaan (Joshua 2:1 and 3:1).

The idea is when water from the house of the LORD flows down to the valley of acacias, then God’s grace, mercy, and provision covers our past sins.

Joel begins with judgment (the locusts) and ends with redemption (The Lord dwells in Zion–the Holy Spirit).  Ezekiel ends the same way (The Lord is there).  How amazing!  It all ends by God’s side!

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5 comments on “BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 11, Day 4: Joel 2:28-3:21

  1. Thea J Bohannon says:

    In response to an earlier post, I’d like to leave this link for your encouragement. I listen to Dr Piper every day – DesiringGod.org is the website. I hope this encourages you. today. Thank you for your honesty and hard work -http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/even-in-setbacks-god-is-lacing-your-life-into-an-infinite-storyline

  2. Lissette says:

    Joel 3:21 “For I will cleanse their blood [that] I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.”

    I think this is to be interpreted in a way of grace and mercy, as a benefit to Judah and Jerusalem, who are the immediate antecedents .

  3. Anne says:

    I really question how one can consider the crusades the work or spirit of God. Comparing them to attributes God praises or any of the fruits of the spirit, or definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 finds them sorely lacking in all regards.

  4. […] The blessing of the sun and what gives life here on earth is now a curse.  Malachi 4:1 calls it a day “burning like an oven.”  The darkness aligns with Joel 2:30-31 which we studied in Lesson 11 day 4. […]

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