Joel 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
Joel: Jehovah is God
Pethuel: vision of God
Joel 1:2-4 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.
Palmerworm, locust, cankerworm, caterpiller are all different stages or kinds of locust. One infestation after another is going to leave the land (the people of God) barren and stripped of ability to nourish (with Truth)
Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
Those used to having Truth available and on tap whenever they get around to thirsting for it will be deprived of the blessings they have taken for granted, having been eaten out from under them The devourers, the strippers of the land have seen to it that the land, the Fathers children, are left barren of the fruitful vines and trees. Those asleep (in spirit?) will awaken to lament the loss of their teachers and those who they took for granted thinking they would always be available. The new wine, Truth, Jesus, the Word of God is stripped away by the locust army.
Joel 1:6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
nation- this word is also used of a swarm or a massing together
my land – the LORD here identifies the ravished land as HIS land (the land of HIS people) .
These are not just toothless governors, they rally with them a swarm of voracious devourers to remove the traces of the old vineyard. This army is sufficiently equipped to overcome all of their obstacles. They are capable of great damage and quick take down of unsuspecting prey.
Joel 1:7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
Nearly all of the Old Testament occurrences of ‘fig tree’ also contain reference to the vine as well. In the New Testament, the vine is often representative of Jesus and His disciples the fruitful Christians. The bark is removed from the fig tree and the branches of it are left bare and dry. Made white is also used to signify purification through trials.
Joel 1:8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Christ (the Truth) is the husband of her youth. She now lives in a land stripped of Truth
Joel 1:9-12 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’S ministers, mourn. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
Husbandmen, vinedressers – priests, pastors, teachers
The joy and fruitfulness which is a blessing of the Father is removed.
Joel 1:13-15 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
This prophecy will happen in the last days. Men live their lives self absorbed and thankless. The destructive army is an army of the Almighty to bring His people to repentance.
Joel 1:16-17 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.
The seed appears to be planted but is rotting away. Is it for lack of water or maybe for lack of interest in the fertile soil? Even the barns and storehouses appear to be unused and abandoned.
Joel 1:18-20 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
trees of the field – often refer to nations, nations of refuge
In Revelation, the wilderness is where the woman (the children of Israel) was flown to (having been given two wings of an eagle) where she is nourished for 1260 days.
The beasts and cattle here, are those who are used to being filled with the blessing of God. They will be crying out in hunger and thirst. Any work they do is in vain, being devoured by the locust army which occupies the land.
We now live in a time when the land has been stripped of most of it’s reliable (true) pastors and shepherds. The people sleep through their blessings and are unaware or don’t raise concern over the decay of our nation. Yet even at this late hour God will deliver to Truth those who seek after it The winter’s not here yet.
Could you image what life would be like with no Bible, no scripture anymore to open and read. There are many places on this planet that don’t have the luxury of having God’s Word laying around or even available. But now, at all levels of the education system in America the Bible is frowned on and God is mocked. Even the churches don’t provide meat for the congregation.
The locust army will probably have many ranks: ranging from the recruits looting and burning the streets of Ferguson, those preparing themselves for hell in our ‘higher education’ systems all the way up to the highest leaders and judges of the land. They essentially either deny God or they unwittingly fault Him as being unjust because of their unhappy lot in life. At all levels of our government they strip our nation continually, 700 billion bailout here, a trillion bailout there.
The same aimless uninformed cattle that elected them into office then blame them for doing what they, by their nature, campaign to do. Sweet dreams Israel, the hangover is soon upon you.
Recognize the remedy. Pray that your trials purify you by the Grace of God.