Brave Hearts Ministry

Joel


Memory Verse: “Turn to me with all your heart” Joel 2:12

 

Key Facts

 

Author: Joel, a prophet of Judah. His name means “Jehovah is God”.

Purpose: National repentance and its blessings.

Date: Uncertain

Key phrase: “The Day of the Lord”

 

Lesson #1: A Time of Judgments: plague of locusts. Joel 1:4-9

 

     “What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.

 

     Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!  Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine for it has been snatched from your lips.  A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.  It ha laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees.  It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white.

 

     Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth grieving for the husband of her youth.  Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the Lord.  The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the Lord.”

 

1.         What insects ate their crops? (vs.4 all sizes of locusts)

2.         How did the people get their food back in the Old Testament times? (talk about grocery stores of today; discuss how storing food was different before refrigeration; food was gathered from the fields and sold in open markets)

3.         Would you eat food that had been eaten by insects? Have you ever eaten a piece of fruit that had a worm in it? (let the children think about that)

4.         If we had no grocery stores, how would we get food? (grow it in a garden, fields, or farms)

5.         What would happen if the locusts/bugs ate all of the foods from the fields? What would we have left to eat? (that would take care of all of the fruits and vegetables; vitamins and minerals would be gone)

6.         What does “judgment” mean and how is it used in the bible? (Judgment was a means of getting the people’s attention that had turned their back on God.  The judgments brought the people to their knees in repentance).

 

 

 

 

 

Summary: In the Old Testament, God brought prophets to his people to call his people to repentance by issuing warnings of plagues.  If his people would repent and turn their hearts back to God, God would forgive them.  We can do the same today.  God will forgive us any time when we repent and turn our hearts back to God.

 

 

Lesson #2: A Time of Judgment: The severe drought. Joel 1:10-18

 

     The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.  Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed.  The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree – all the trees of the field – are dried up.  Surely the joy of mankind is withered away.

 

     Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister before the altar.  Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God.  Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly.  Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.

 

     Alas for that day!  For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

 

     Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes – joy and gladness from the house of our God?  The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods.  The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up.  How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering.”

 

1.              What is a drought? (An extended period of time when there is no rain causing the lakes and rivers to dry up.)

2.              How can a drought affect the food supplies? (crops would dry up and die; fish in the rivers would die; animals would perish without water or food)

3.              Do you think that a drought would get the sinful people’s attention? (yes – there is nothing like fear to bring people to prayer)

4.              Is there anything that you are afraid of? (ask the children to talk about what scares them in today’s world).

5.              Do you think that God can allow bad things to happen in your life to get your attention? (talk about your own personal story when God had to get your attention).

6.              Why do you think bad things happen to good people? (God develops your character through difficult situations.  Do not ask “why me”, ask “what can I learn from this?)

 

Summary: Sometimes God uses situations to get our attention.  He can utilize difficult times to teach us and to draw us close to him.

 

Lesson #3: Repentance. Joel 2: 12-19

 

     “‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows?  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing – grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord you God.

 

     Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast call a sacred assembly.  Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.  Le the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar.  Let them say, ’Spare your people, O Lord.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’

 

     Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.  The Lord will reply to them:  ‘I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.’”

 

1.              How did the people repent? (turn to God with all your heart, with fasting, and with weeping and mourning. Discuss what each of these terms means.)

2.              When we repent, how does God respond? (vs.13 he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness).

3.              What does it mean to be “slow to anger”?

4.              Are you someone who is slow to anger or are you quick to anger?

5.              How can anger hurt relationships? (people will avoid you, anger can cause pain)

6.              How should you deal with your anger? (count to 10; breathe a few deep breathes; give your anger to the Lord).

7.              What did God do for his people? (vs. 19 I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be satisfied).

 

Summary: God can see a truly repentant heart.  He can also see a heart that is not repentant.  True repentance brings God’s love and mercy.  It will do the same for your family and friends.  Learn how to say that you are sorry from your heart.

 

Lesson #4: The Lord will do great things. Joel 2:21-27

 

     “Surely he has done great things.  Be not afraid, O Land; be glad and rejoice.  Surely the Lord has done great things.  Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green.  The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.  Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness.  He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.

   

 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

 

     ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you.  You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.  Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.”

 

1.              The people had faced the judgments of locusts, drought, and great armies.  However, if they would turn their hearts back to God, what are some of things that he promised them? (v. 22 trees would bear fruit, v. 23 rains, v.24 brings back the wheat, wine, and oil, vs. 25 restores the food).

2.              Verse 26 states that “ye shall eat plenty and be satisfied”. What does it take to satisfy you? (this should be an interesting response from the kids – try to get them to think about the basics: food, shelter, clothing, and family love).

3.              Our world tries to convince us that we need “stuff” to be happy.  What are some examples of “stuff” that you think you need to be happy? (one more pair of shoes, one more outfit, one more CD, one more ice cream, one more….)

4.              What does God want us to be satisfied with? (The bible says that he will provide for our needs – not our wants – but our needs.  The bible says to be content in all situations).

5.              What is God’s provision for you? (have the kids think about all that God has provided for them – family, home, clothes, brothers/sisters, teachers, a church)

 

Summary: We need to rejoice and be glad for what the Lord provides for us. Let’s try to be happy with what we have and not keep looking for more to satisfy our wants.

 

 

Lesson #5: Miracles promised. Joel 2:28-32

 

     “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.  I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

 

     And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”

 

1.              Who is the Holy Spirit? (Trinity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit).

2.              What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit? (God will pour out his Holy Spirit upon those who ask; the Holy Spirit can live within us and provide guidance and peace).

3.              What does v. 28 say that the Holy Spirit can do when the spirit falls upon people? (prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions)

4.              What else does vs. 30 state? (God will show wonders in the heavens and the earth).

5.              What does vs. 32 say can happen when we call on the name of the Lord? (people shall be delivered – talk about what that means in today’s world).

6.              We can call on the Lord at any time of the day for help.  Is there something that you would like to pray about that you need God’s help with today?

 

Summary: God provides his Holy Spirit to dwell among us and with us.  The Holy Spirit is an extension of God here on earth.  When Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit descended to be God’s presence here with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The scriptures used for this study were taken from the “Young Women of Faith Bible New International Version” published in 2001 by the Zondervan Corporation.

                               

 Posted 1.12.09