Out of all the prophets, we probably know the least about Joel. We also have trouble indicating the time frame in which it was written, because unlike the other book of prophecy, Joel gives no information of his time frame. There is no mention of being with other prophets and there is also no mention of any kings that would have ruled. A possible explanation might be due to a period in Judah’s history when they had no king, but a queen. Athaliah was the only ruling queen of the nation of Judah and upon her death she was succeeded by her eight-year-old son Joash. Since Joash was so young, the priest Jehodia ruled in his place until he came of age. It could be that this is the time frame in which Joel lived and preached, since it was more of a caretaking period instead of an actual rule.
One of the main thoughts of his writing is centered around the day of the Lord. Using a recent tragedy of the day, a well-known locust plague, Joel capitalizes on the tragedy to preach God’s message of judgement and repentance. In doing so, we today can pick up on a particularly important message of hope. After the land had been made desolate by the locust, Joel writes “ I (God) will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:25-26). I do not know about you, but I often look back on my past and recall all that time I wasted in living for myself. When you begin to think about all the things that you “could’ve” or should’ve done”, you grew disheartened, depressed and guilty. Yet, in this passage God is telling us that He would restore all the damage that locust had inflicted and cause them to be satisfied. I still often look back on my past and recall all the sins that I have accumulated over the years. However, I no longer get down and depressed, I become thankful that God has delivered me out of my past and brought me to the place I am today. It is by God’s mercy that I lived through my hard times and it is by God’s grace that I learned from them. When you have regrets concerning your past, ask for forgiveness if you have not already. Then…look forward and watch God restore the damage that the enemy has done.