Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Joel 1

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


The Prophecy begins with an account of a dreadful affliction to be accomplished on Judea. The Prophet exhorts the people to repentance, and appointeth a fast.

Verses 1-5

The prophecy opens in a very striking manner. It is the Lord's word, and therefore demands man's attention. And all ranks and orders are appealed unto to regard the man of God's commission; young men and maidens, old men and children; for the subject is not to be equalled. Yea, even the drunkards are called upon to listen to it, for the awfulness of the judgment coming upon the land is so great, that it is enough to awaken them into soberness. Reader! have you never met with any instances in life, where the extremity of affliction hath induced the most astonishing effects; such things are spoken of, where the hair hath become grey, and where such effects have followed as instantly to remove the powers of intoxication?

Verses 6-12

Under the figure of a swarm of insects destroying the fruits of the earth, is represented the judgment of the Lord upon a guilty land. It is blessed to observe, how the Lord pleads with his people by those striking visitations in the various periods of his Church; and with what gentleness in the midst of correction, the Lord manifests the cause for which he thus deals with them.

Verses 13-14

There is a vast degree of elegance in these expressions, as well as earnestness; the priests the ministers of the Lord are first called upon, and then all the people. The sackcloth to lie down in, the howling and woe of the Lord's priests, strongly represent and set forth, under types and figures, the desolated state of souls under sin.

Verses 15-18

The preceding verses having described the ruin of all flesh by reason of sin, here comes the judgment. The Prophet unable to enter into the particulars of the dreadful day of account, only cries out under the apprehension of it. Who may abide the day of his coming. Malachi 3:2 .

Verses 19-20

Here comes in to our relief the blessedness of that gospel, which under the conviction of sin, and a total inability to help ourselves, leads to Christ. For I hope, I need not point out to the Reader, what the whole of this Chapter; namely, that the eye of sin and sorrow loudly proclaims the necessity of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Prophet opens with sorrow, which is the effect of sin and closes the Chapter with what only becomes the relief for it. When a soul is convinced of sin, and feels the awful consequence of it, there is nothing that can give consolation to the wounded spirit, but the blood of Christ. 0 Lord, to thee do I cry! is the language of every heart taught by God the Holy Ghost. And the cry that is thus awakened by grace, is sure to be answered in mercy.

Verse 20


READER! mark in the instance of this Prophet to what all-the other Prophets of God bear equal testimony; the process of grace in all ages is the same. Sin brings forth sorrow, and godly sorrow through grace leads to Christ for salvation. From, the first transgressor in the garden of Eden, to the last fallen son or daughter of Adam to the end of the world, divine teachings invariably produce the same effect. The fathers to the children may therefore make known the Lord's truth, and the Lord's praise. Reader! it is most blessed to see, and yet more blessed to experience, our own personal interest in those divine teachings. I the Lord teacheth, thee to profit, may be discerned and read by every enlightened eye as the title page of the whole of inspiration. And when, in the corrections and visitations of the Lord, by the Lord's great army, we plainly discover the Lord's hand; when in the locusts and palmer worms of the earth, we both hear the rod and who hath appointed it; when the fatherly reproofs of a gracious God in Christ are sanctified to bring the heart to Christ: oh! how blessed are the awakening judgments of our God, in rousing his people from the sottish stupidity and indolence in which the world and its pursuits have intoxicated the soul, and calling home the heart to Jesus and his salvation. Lord! I pray thee put a cry in every heart of thy redeemed! Especially stir up the ministers of my God in the present awful hour of Zion's languishing, to cry aloud and spare not, for the Lord's deliverance of his people. Oh! for the Lord to be very jealous for his Zion, and make her yet the praise and perfection of the whole earth. Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joel 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/joel-1.html. 1828.
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