A Teaching Outline for the Book of Joel

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A study of the book of Joel reveals that this prophet provides a foundational text not only for understanding future events, but also for understanding other passages of Scripture, since it is a text upon which even other prophets rely (cf. Amos 5:18, Ezek. 30:20, et. al.).

When the Kingdom of Judah was experiencing a covenant curse of locusts on account of their sin and apostasy (cf. Deut. 28:38-42), Joel used the judgment as a launching pad for his prophetic ministry, explaining that the (literal) locusts consuming the crops and destroying the food supply was but a foretaste of future judgment (cf. Rev. 9:1-12). In other words the judgment during that “day of disaster” was but a preview of judgment in the “Day of the Lord”—a future period of time beginning immediately after the Rapture of the Church and continuing through the seven-year Tribulation and on into the Millennial Kingdom.

Similarly, the Apostle Peter quoted Joel at the start of the Church on the day of Pentecost—not to assert that Joel’s prophecy was being fulfilled at that time—but to explain that the blessing of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was but a preview of spiritual blessing in the coming Day of the Lord (cf. Acts 2:14-21). Thus, the book of Joel proves itself also to be a foundational text upon which the Apostles also rely (cf. 1 Thess. 5:2).

This short book offers a stark depiction of God’s wrath (cf. Joel 2:15-18), a compelling description of true repentance (cf. Joel 2:13), and an encouraging declaration of future blessing (cf. Joel 3:18). For the parent leading his or her children, there is perhaps no better triad of doctrinal truth than these three prominent themes present in Joel. To that end, the following outline will help as you prepare your time of instruction. May the Lord bless you as you raise your children, verse by verse.

A Day of Disaster Is Here (Joel 1:1-13)

Leaders: Hear, Listen Tell (Joel 1:1-4)

Drunkards: Awake (Joel 1:5-7)

Citizens: Wail (Joel 1:8-10)

Farmers: Be Ashamed (Joel 1:11-12)

Priests: Lament (Joel 1:13)

The Day of the Lord Is Near (Joel 1:14-2:17)

Proof in the Current Crisis (Joel 1:14-20)

Promise of the Coming Catastrophe (Joel 2:1-14)

Prayer with the Correct Concern (Joel 2:15-17)

The Grace of the Lord Will Appear (Joel 2:18-3:21)

Material Blessings (Joel 2:18-27)

Spiritual Blessings (Joel 2:28-32)

National Blessings (Joel 3:1-21)