Joel 1

** From the desolations about to come upon the land of Judah, by

the ravages of locusts and other insects, the prophet Joel

exhorts the Jews to repentance, fasting, and prayer. He notices

the blessings of the gospel, with the final glorious state of

the church.

* A plague of locusts. (1-7) All sorts of people are called to

lament it. (8-13) They are to look to God. (14-20)

1-7 The most aged could not remember such calamities as were

about to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the land

to eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also to

the destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems to

refer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord of

hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases,

can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the

weakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God to

take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess;

and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications of

sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. The

more earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more we

expose ourselves to trouble.
8-13 All who labour only for the meat that perishes, will,

sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. Those that place

their happiness in the delights of sense, when deprived of them,

or disturbed in the enjoyment, lose their joy; whereas spiritual

joy then flourishes more than ever. See what perishing,

uncertain things our creature-comforts are. See how we need to

live in continual dependence upon God and his providence. See

what ruinous work sin makes. As far as poverty occasions the

decay of piety, and starves the cause of religion among a

people, it is a very sore judgment. But how blessed are the

awakening judgments of God, in rousing his people and calling

home the heart to Christ, and his salvation!
14-20 The sorrow of the people is turned into repentance and

humiliation before God. With all the marks of sorrow and shame,

sin must be confessed and bewailed. A day is to be appointed for

this purpose; a day in which people must be kept from their

common employments, that they may more closely attend God's

services; and there is to be abstaining from meat and drink.

Every one had added to the national guilt, all shared in the

national calamity, therefore every one must join in repentance.

When joy and gladness are cut off from God's house, when serious

godliness decays, and love waxes cold, then it is time to cry

unto the Lord. The prophet describes how grievous the calamity.

See even the inferior creatures suffering for our transgression.

And what better are they than beasts, who never cry to God but

for corn and wine, and complain of the want of the delights of

sense? Yet their crying to God in those cases, shames the

stupidity of those who cry not to God in any case. Whatever may

become of the nations and churches that persist in ungodliness,

believers will find the comfort of acceptance with God, when the

wicked shall be burned up with his indignation.

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