NextLevel Online: Rend Your Hearts: A study through the Book of Joel

Session 1: Overview

What does true repentance look like? In the Bible, true repentance can be marked by many things—prayer, fasting, tearing one’s garments, wearing sackcloth. There are two major things at the heart of the Book of Joel, The Locust Plague and The Coming of God. That’s why we will use as our major icon for this study a broken heart. This section will be an overview to the Book of Joel where Joel says to his people and us, “Rend your hearts!"



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader

What does true repentance look like?

In the Bible, true repentance can be marked by many things—prayer, fasting, tearing one’s garments, wearing sackcloth.

The OT Minor Prophet Book called Joel is about real repentance. If I were to assign a title to it, I would label it, “Rend Your Hearts.”

A theme verse would be 2:13.

Important Notes:

  • Joel is a minor prophet—not minor in inspiration or significance but minor in length.
  • Joel’s name means “Yahu is God.” Notice the “El” in his name—as in Elohim, El Shaddai, etc. So, God’s name is in Joel’s name.
  • Joel was a fairly common name in the ancient world. In fact, 12 different people in the Bible alone are called Joel.
  • As a prophet, Joel’s job was to be a covenant watchdog on the law.
  • As a prophet, Joel spoke by inspiration. The word prophet (nabi) means “one who speaks for God…one who bubbles forth with God’s message…one who speaks enthusiastically.”
  • Prophecy relates more to Joel’s world than ours (or even a future one).
  • Joel prophesied early on in Israel’s history. He prophesied somewhere in the 800s, a similar time frame of Obadiah and Elijah.

There are two major things at the heart of the Book of Joel.

  • The Locust Plague - Exodus 10 and the Book of Revelation
  • The Coming of God - Luke 2 and Acts 2

That’s why we will use as our major icon for this study a broken heart. Joel says to his people and us, “Rend your hearts!”

Discussion Questions:

  • Does repentance sound like drudgery, or does it sound like a gift from God (Acts 5:31; 11:18).

  • How is fallen creation connected to the sinfulness of humanity (Genesis. 3:17-19; Romans 8:18)?

  • Can you think of examples in the Gospels where Jesus tamed creation? What are we to make of that?

  • One man said, “The Holy Spirit won’t manifest himself until we deny ourselves.” How does that statement relate to this overview of Joel?

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.