This quiz, Joel, involves a whole army of locusts!
The Book of Joel is the second of the Minor Prophetical Books and the twenty-ninth book in the Bible. We do not know for sure when Joel lived, but we do know that he ministered to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. Like the other prophets, Joel warns the people of God's coming judgement and urges them to repent their sins.
The drought and the locusts have together ruined the crops.
"Awake, ye drunkards, and weep;
and howl, all ye drinkers of wine,
because of the new wine;
for it is cut off from your mouth.
For a nation is come up upon my land,
strong, and without number,
whose teeth are the teeth of a lion,
and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
He hath laid my vine waste,
and barked my fig tree:
he hath made it clean bare,
and cast it away;
the branches thereof are made white"
Joel is concerned that because of the shortage of food, sacrifices in the temple cannot be made.
"Is not the meat cut off before our eyes,
yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
The seed is rotten under their clods,
the garners are laid desolate,
the barns are broken down;
for the corn is withered"
"Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth
for the husband of her youth.
The meat offering and the drink offering
is cut off from the house of the Lord;
the priests, the Lord’s ministers, mourn.
The field is wasted, the land mourneth;
for the corn is wasted:
the new wine is dried up,
the oil languisheth.
God's judgement is coming upon the people of Judah. They should mourn for their losses and repent of their sins before it is too late
"The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses;
and as horsemen, so shall they run.
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap,
like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble,
as a strong people set in battle array."
Joel goes on to say that the locusts are in fact God's army. The Book of Revelation also describes an army of locusts working for God.
"And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle"
It was traditional to tear one's clothes whilst mourning, but God would prefer it if the people tore the sin from their hearts.
"Therefore also now, saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting,
and with weeping, and with mourning:
and rend your heart, and not your garments,
and turn unto the Lord your God:
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness,
and repenteth him of the evil"
If the people are penitent then God will make Judah a land of plenty once more.
"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten,
the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm,
my great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
that hath dealt wondrously with you:
and my people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God, and none else:
and my people shall never be ashamed"
"And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions:
and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids
in those days will I pour out my spirit."
Peter's quotation can be found in Acts 2:16-21. Joel's prophecy was about the pouring of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus
These are signs from God that the day of judgement is near. They are warnings telling people to turn to God before it is too late, for He will save those who call upon Him.
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth,
blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:
for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance,
as the Lord hath said,
and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call"
The people will be gathered to receive God's judgement, but the hope of all is found in God.
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:
for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and the moon shall be darkened,
and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion,
and utter his voice from Jerusalem;
and the heavens and the earth shall shake:
but the Lord will be the hope of his people,
and the strength of the children of Israel"
Judah was prone to drought and would welcome water in all its rivers, certainly more than blood, fire or gold!
"And it shall come to pass in that day,
that the mountains shall drop down new wine,
and the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters,
and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord,
and shall water the valley of Shittim"