Why should women read Joel?
Before repentance comes confrontation. Joel is a lesson in confrontation. The people in Joel’s day were experiencing the judgment of God in their lives through a locust plague. Had they heeded the warnings about their disobedience earlier and repented, perhaps judgment would have been delayed or even averted. Just as the people of Judah in Joel’s day, women have a tendency to avoid confrontation, but a Christ-following woman must learn to be thankful for confrontation when it comes from the Holy Spirit. Your spiritual growth will be stunted if you avoid dealing with sin, but perhaps worse, short or prolonged disobedience leads to the Lord’s discipline in your life. The book of Joel reminds women to welcome prophetic confrontation about sin in their lives.
Biblical Womanhood: Repentance and Restoration
Within the book of Joel, the Lord makes a profound promise to “His people” (2:18): “I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust ate” (v. 25). Joel does not spell out, as do some of the other prophets, what Israel had done to incur the devastating consequences described in Jl 1:2–2:11. His immediate
audience undoubtedly knew the reasons. You or a woman you know may have experienced or may be currently struggling through devastating circumstances that may be the result of years of rebellion and disobedience, years of trying to do life in your own way. Although the Lord’s judgment is to be feared, the God of Scripture declares that “He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster” (2:13). To continue doing life in your own way leads away from the Father’s loving arms and into hopeless dead ends of sin. However, God pleads with women to give up hoping for self-made happiness and instead to:
• “turn” to Him “with all your heart” (v. 12);
• “tear your hearts” (i.e., publicly declare your spiritual
bankruptcy, v. 13; cp. Mt 5:3), acknowledging that
doing life your way instead of God’s way is hopeless;
• “return to the Lord your God” (v. 13).
This is a picture of repentance. When women turn their devastated, hopeless, “locust-consumed” lives over
to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, He is faithful not only to forgive sin but to restore the wholeness, peace, joy, and
hope previously devoured by the enemy (vv. 25-27; cp. Rm 8:28; 1Jn 1:9).