Did you ever sit with someone that had a relationship with God, but was clearly not walking with the Lord? Did you ever want to help someone see that it was time to turn back and “come home”? The first chapter of Joel offers principles on how to share their need with them. We are always called to present the truth in love. The problem is, telling someone they are wrong is never easy. Yet, it can be done!
Joel 1: Repentance Required!
I. Cry of Powerful Devastation (1:2-2:11)
A. The Past Invasion of the Locusts (1:1-12)
1. Prompting Principle: When God sent the calamities, He wanted to get the
attention of all. (1:1-4)
2. Self Interest Principle: Self-absorbed and self-indulgent people only get
involved when the supply line is cut (1:5-7)
3. Great fall Principle: Those with the greatest optimism will be the most bitter due to unrealized dreams. (1:8-12).
a. personal disillusionment (8)
b. religious destruction (9)
c. economic (10-12a)
4. Joy Attack Principle: When all fails, the trust of the people in God is reduced to ashes.
B. The Procedure for Repentance (1:13-20)
“Pay attention to these nationally devastating events, and come together before
God, seeking Him!” How?
Ten Principles for Repentance -When God Begins to turn His face away:
1. Those who know God begin the process of taking seriously the sin of the nation
2. Let it grip our hearts before God long before others hear about it – THIS IS NOT SIMPLE INDIGNANCE concerning the culture (1:13b).
3. Be persistent with seeking the Lord (1:14a).
4. Recognize before God how the Lord and His worship has been affected by the sin and judgment of the nation (1:14b).
5. Step out and deliberately instruct the society on God’s direction (1:14a).
6. Bring in help and participation by leaders that are outside of the religious
establishment (i.e. civil leaders, 1:14b).
7. Call on everyone who is willing to heed the call to be a part of the solution – then show them how. It is NOT about repairing the effects of the judgment first, it is about seeking God first! (1:14b).
8. Warn them of later and greater judgments they need to be prepared for (1:15).
9. Point out the reality of God’s work that should be obvious, they may still not understand (1:16-18).
10. Focus them on the real need – a walk with God, not simply the restoration of their stuff! (1:19-20)