The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:
In the coming days we want to reflect on the message that we find in the old Testament book of Joel.
Who was this Joel and where did he come from?
We do not get an answer to these questions.
Joel is and remains an unknown person, from whom we know nothing more than that he was a prophet and that the Word of the Lord came to him.
The book of Joel is named after the prophet Joel.
We only know about this prophet
▪︎ that his name is Joel (Joel means “YHWH is God”),
▪︎ that his father was called Pethuel (Pethuel means “Vision of God”), but nothing else is known about his father either.
▪︎ and that he worked as a prophet in Judah and Jerusalem.
Since we hear nothing of the ten-tribe kingdom in this book, some conclude that the ten-tribe kingdom was no longer there. However, this does not have to be the case. It may also be that He was only called to bring God’s word to Judah.
So he worked as a prophet in Judah and Jerusalem, but it is not certain when that was.
Some interpreters believe that Joel lived before the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (586 BC, see 2 Kings 25: 1-12), but others say Joel speaks of later events in the history of Israel.
Joel has an important reason for working as a prophet.
He wants to warn his listeners, because he is very shocked by a disaster that has hit the country.
A large group of grasshoppers (locusts) have destroyed all plants, making it almost impossible to live in the country.
All those grasshoppers are an important sign for Joel. He thinks those locusts are the beginning of the day of the Lord, the day when God will judge the world. That day was already predicted by prophets such as Amos, Ezekiel and Zephaniah. And according to Joel, that day has now started.
He does not make up his own message.
No. The Word of God came to him.
What Joel hears from God’s mouth, he must proclaim to others.
We know hardly anything from him, but to know that he was a prophet, and that the Word of the Lord came to him, is that not enough for us?
The Word of the Lord came to him – and he became a prophet who spoke of the Lord, called by that Word, and driven by that Word.
What a lesson for all who are used by the Lord today in the Church and in Mission, in office, and also as a member of the congregation.
Let’s listen to the Lord first, before we begin to speak.
Then God will ensure that, even today, His Word does what pleases Him.
The Lord has many servants, known and lesser known.
But in all their hearts His Word fell, and then they got a voice to speak of His Name and His great deeds.
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