Last week we saw how God used the real plague of locusts in Joel's time to warn the nation of Israel, and 'all who have ears to hear', that another devastating judgment is coming on Israel, and indeed upon the whole earth.
Hosea tells us that God uses similitudes (models or types) to speak to us. We know that the Feasts of Israel, as well as being literal, historical events, were also given as anticipatory models of things that would come later. Last week we noted that the first four feasts of Israel find their prophetic fulfilment in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the birth (and possibly the subsequent rapture) of the Church.
This leaves us with the last three feasts, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles for which no prophetic fulfilment has yet taken place. It would seem from scripture that these last three feasts are specifically linked to events that will befall the nation of Israel; moreover it appears that the book of Joel becomes a model of the prophetic fulfilment of these feasts.
Remember that Joel seems to have been the first of the 'writing' prophets; before Isaiah, Hosea or any of the prophets who would come later and add more 'colour' to the outline Joel gives us.
Montague S. Mills said: “Joel, ... was probably the first of the so called writing prophets; so this book provides a valuable insight into the history of prophecy, particularly as it furnishes a framework for the end times which is faithfully followed by all subsequent Scripture. God started a new work with the writing of Joel, that of preparing the human race for the end of this temporal era, and thus gave an outline of His total plan. Later prophets, including even our Lord, would only flesh out this outline, but in keeping with the divine nature of true Scripture, never found it necessary to deviate from this, the initial revelation.”
The first chapter of Joel, as we studied last week, seems to give the prophetic summery of the nations history from the time of the Exodus (the Birth of the Nation of Israel), to the time of the Tribulation (still yet future).
Prophetically, chapter 1 seems to unveil:
Verse 1: Introduction: God speaks! - who will listen?
Verse 2-3: Riches to rags! - How Israel went from being betrothed & blessed by God to being cast out of their land and made to wander throughout the world.
Verse 4: Utter destruction - the literal Locust plague the Joel witnessed as a forerunner of a far more deadly and destructive plague that is yet to come.
Verse 5: Israel’s wake-up call! - Israel we given countless chances to return and walk with God and avoid judgment....
Verse 6-7: Rome! - but alas, because of the Israel's disobedience, God allowed nations to conquer and subdue them, most notably Rome!
Verse 8: Israel’s rejection of Messiah - rather than Israel's betrothal leading to bliss, Israel rejected and killed their Messiah.
Verse 9: AD 70 - Sacrifice stopped - consequently, what Jesus warned in Like 19 came upon them.
Verse 10: AD 132 – Jerusalem ploughed - by Emperor Hadrian who wanted the Jews expelled from the Land of Israel.
Verse 11-12: Worldwide diaspora & shame - history is our record.
Verse 13: Abomination of Desolation! Sacrifice ‘withholden’ Time to flee! Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 24 etc. and warned this time would come
Verse 14: The ‘Elders’ gathered into the house of the LORD & called to pray! ‒A picture of the Rapture of the Church and our subsequent obligation?
Verse 15: The Day of The LORD The Great Tribulation begins!
Verse 16-18: Israel forced to flee
Verse 19-20: Desperate Israel seeks refuge in the wilderness of Edom - these last 3 points will now be expounded in chapter 2
In chapter 2 we start to see the prophetic fulfilment of the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Atonement
Categories | SUNDAY MORNING STUDIES
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