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

Session 2: Rend Your Hearts…Creation Will Respond (Joel 1:1-12, 16-20; 2:1-11)

The Apostle Paul said that creation groans (Romans 8). Sin not only fractured God’s relationship with Adam and Eve; it also fractured Adam’s relationship with Eve. Beyond that, all of the creation experienced this fracture as well. Deuteronomy also promised that if Israel would be faithful to God that God would bless them with rain, and fruitful crops. Be careful of one-to-one correspondence. It is not an unconditional promise. The prophet Joel did connect the dots between a physical plague and a fruitful creation.



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader

The Apostle Paul said that creation groans (Romans 8).

Sin not only fractured God’s relationship with Adam and Eve; it also fractured Adam’s relationship with Eve. Beyond that, all of the creation experienced this fracture as well.

Deuteronomy also promised that if Israel would be faithful to God that God would bless them with rain, and fruitful crops. Be careful of one-to-one correspondence. It is not an unconditionalpromise.

The prophet Joel did connect the dots between a physical plague and a fruitful creation.

  • Notice the people that God calls to repent—it’s pretty inclusive.

  • As we stated in the overview lesson when we read about locusts we need to look backward (Exodus) and forward (Revelation).

  • There are locusts, and there are more locusts (1:4; 2:25).

    • Let’s start by suggesting that they are real locusts. One rule of hermeneutics is “always take the text to be literal unless there is good reason to take it figuratively.”
    • How bad would a real locust plague be? Here is some Locust Trivia:
      • Mature desert locusts have a 4-inch wingspan and are 3 inches long.
      • They look like grasshoppers.
      • They can turn the sky black with them rising up to look for vegetation.
      • They can soar up to 5,000 feet.
      • A swarm can contain one billion creatures weighing 3 million pounds.
      • They can travel 60 miles in one day and 600 miles on one migration.
      • In 1959, a locust plague in Ethiopia lasted 6 weeks. They consumed enough food to feed one million people.
      • They can take down crops at 250 feet/hour.
    • Could we understand the locust plague to be figurative—maybe descriptive of maybe an advancing army or even a coming draught?
  • Other devastations describe a dire situation indeed (1:16-20).

  • The other theme to note is the theme of the “Day of the Lord.”

Someone said that body and soul lived so close to one another that they catch each other’s diseases. That’s also true of humankind and creation.

Discussion Questions:

  • Make a list of the natural catastrophes (e.g. earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.). How do these show us a creation that is still out of sorts with its Creator?

  • Many environmentalists suggest that global warming is created by human beings. In light of the Book of Joel how might that be true, and how might it not be true?

  • Are some judgments of God built into the fabric of creation (e.g. gravity)? What does this say about the laws of God evident in creation?

  • What advancing army might Joel be referring to in Joel 2:1-11? (Think about the time frame of Obadiah and Elijah).

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.