Thursday: The Refuge in Times of Trouble
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Biblical prophets compare the coming judgment from God to the roaring of a lion,

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

a sound that makes everyone tremble (Joel 3:16, Amos 1:2, 3:8). In the Bible, Zion designates the location of God’s earthly throne in Jerusalem. From this place God will punish the enemy, but at the same time He will vindicate His people who patiently await His victory. They will share in His triumph when He renews creation.

To some people the Scripture’s portrayals of [...]

Wednesday: Proclaiming God’s Name
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“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,

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before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls” (Joel 2:31-32, NKJV).

The darkening of the sun and the changing [...]

Tuesday: The Gift of God’s Spirit
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Read Joel 2:28-29 along with Acts 2:1-21. How is Peter interpreting the prophecy of Joel here?

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On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter announced that the Lord had fulfilled His promise, as given through Joel, regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Accompanying the outpouring of the Spirit, and as a visible sign of God’s supernatural intervention in the history of humankind, God will cause extraordinary phenomena to be seen in nature, both on earth and in [...]

Monday: Blow the Trumpet!
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When natural disasters occur, they provoke many questions, such as,

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“Why did God allow this to happen?” “Why have some people lived, while others have died?” “Is there a lesson here that we could learn?” Joel had no doubt that the locust plague could lead to a deeper insight into God’s universal plan. In chapter 1, under divine inspiration, the prophet relates the national crisis to the spiritual situation in the land. The locusts have [...]

Sunday: A National Disaster
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Read Joel 1:1-12. What is happening to the land of Judah?

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The prophet, who lived in an agricultural society, calls upon the farmers to be dismayed at the loss of their grain and fruit harvests. The ecological destruction could cripple the nation’s economy for years. In addition to the loss of food, shade, and wood, there is a threat of topsoil erosion. Some fruit trees in Palestine take 20 years to grow before they become productive. [...]

Sabbath: A Holy and Just God
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Read for This Week’s Study: Joel 1, 2:28-29, Acts 2:1-21, Joel 2:31-32, Rom. 10:13,Matt. 10:28-31.

Memory Text: “The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?” (Joel 2:11, NIV).

Key Thought: God can use crises to make His people sensitive to both their dependence on Him and their need for spiritual renewal and reformation.

On the massive locust plague and severe drought that were [...]

Further Study: Love and Judgment
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Compare the following two quotations with the messages presented in Hosea 7-14 .

“Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. . . . The principles of God’s government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 34.

“Through long, dark years when ruler after [...]

Thursday: Healed, Loved, and Nurtured
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Some ancient scholars viewed the Lord, as revealed in the Old Testament,

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as harsh and unforgiving, in contrast to Jesus, as revealed in the New. Why is that such a wrong conclusion? How does the message of Hosea 14 help to show just how wrong that conclusion is? What does this chapter reveal about God’s character and love for His people?

The last chapter of Hosea is a fitting climax to the message proclaimed by the prophet. It [...]

Wednesday: Compassion Stronger Than Anger
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“How can I give you up, O Ephraim?

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How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, all My compassions are kindled. I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath” (Hos. [...]

Tuesday: A Toddling Son
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“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. . . . I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them.” (Hos. 11:1-3, NKJV).

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In these verses, Hosea is saying that the Lord’s way is like the tender care of a new parent. Just as a parent tenderly and patiently teaches a child to walk, taking it up [...]