Bible Experiment Joel

Bible Experiment Joel

Have you ever had someone prophesy over you? Has anyone ever told you your future? Is that all crap and hocus pocus? Well I’m going to do that for you today. It’s gonna get awesome up in here real fast. But before I do that, let’s do the standard intro for the new folks joining us here out of the blue. Years ago I started reading an experiment by an Atheist to go through every single book of the Bible, he read every word, and then wrote at least a thousand words about it. He got tons of media attention and news focus because, I mean, it was an ATHEIST diatribing about the Bible for a thousand words. 66,000 words from a hostile atheist? Brilliant story. So I decided, that if he could do it, so could I. (He never finished… you can read about his actual writings here.)

Joel is three chapters. Just three. Last time, when I covered Hosea, I did a modern retelling of the book. And this time I’m going to do something similar. We’ll recount what Joel did in his three quick chapters, and then I am going to give you your own Joel for today. Not to be too hubristic, but I will prophesy over America, and the modern world. And what is cool about this is this, I don’t necessarily have a revelation from God – I mean, beyond the revelation of God given. I don’t have a specific word, beyond the specific word He gave us throughout all of the Bible. And yet it should pierce us to the core, and draw us to repentance and a complete life change.

The basic format of Joel is this,

  1. You have left your first love… return to me.
  2. The armies are coming – as is the desolation.
  3. I will judge the nations that harmed my people

But seeing it this awful list of items is terrible… I mean look at this gorgeous poetry that Joel wrote out to the people of Israel…

“Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lordyour God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.”

I love these verses. Instead of grieving outwardly, and for show… instead of yelling loudly in the streets about how awful life is… rend your heart instead. Grieve internally. Mourn in your heart. Actually mourn. And you know what, God is good, and He is compassionate, loving and kind. He is very slow to anger. Slow to judgement. Slow to rebuke. When you genuflect in your heart, truly become penitent, He really is abounding in love towards you. He will stay his judgement. The book goes on to layer on grace after grace if we will only but draw close to God. He will fill our vineyards, he will fill our grain bins and your storehouses.

But to those countries that trampled His people? He expresses a series of very specific warnings. For those countries that sold Jewish boys into prostitution and girls for wine God reserves the harshest of judgements. And the world wonders why America has had a history of coddling Israel from an international relations standpoint. haha. But what I long for? The day that I want to see come to pass? It’s the day that He actually restores…

“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”

If only the world would turn to God. To return to Him. He would restore us from the waste and the chaos of life. I too wonder what life would be like if I constantly put him first in all that I do. I can be selfish, and proud. I am good at being “right”. And I try my best to get my agenda completed as opposed to His.

As with most Old Testament prophetic, the prophecy works on several levels simultaneously. It speaks to the Jews and their immediate concerns. It speaks to their near future concerns after they go into captivity. And it also speaks to the long long term future that will impact us as well. And all three are relevant to us today. We have been given into captivity because of our disobedience, except that this captivity is into sin (pornography, alcoholism, adultery, addictions of every stripe, gluttony)… sin that won’t fulfill us. But He would rather break us free of this bondage, as He did for the Jews. He wants us to return to Him, and free us from slavery, and walk closely with us in the blessing of abundant life. Fulfilled life in Him is blessings of the overflowing orchard and grain bin. Fulfilled life in Him is a totally other thing than the life of slavery we’ve taken for normal.

Alright. You get the idea of Joel. Another minor prophet is sent by God to warn the nation that if they continue on the current line of action, it will end very badly for them. Joel also warns the world that their days of actions against Israel with impunity are coming to an end, and when that end comes it is not going to be cool… like, at all.

So what would God say to us today. Right now?


Chapter 1

1 The word of the Lord that came to you on this day…

The Oncoming Onslaught

2 Listen to me all the earth,

listen and mark my words.

3 A day is coming unlike any other

a day of fire, fear and retribution.

4 Can you hear it?

Listen carefully, and hear the engines of war,

the whine of the jets overhead,

the stomping of the boots on the ground,

the arrival of global war.

5 Today you revel in your wealth,

devouring the infant, the widow, & the impoverished.

6 You say to yourselves, I am secure.

You tell yourselves that you are gods.

7 But these are lies. Whispers in the sand.


8 Can you not hear the clang of steel,

and the readying for war?

9 I will decimate everything you hold dear,

Nothing will be left when the armies are let loose.

10 Your grocery stores will be empty wastelands.

your homes will be ruins,

you will look back on your security

and your safety

and weep.

A Call to Mourning

11 Stop.

return to me says the Lord your God.

12 Weep as if your teen bride is gone.

Weep and mourn for your lost love.

13 Dress in black and end all the parties.

Dress in black and cry out to the one true God.

14 Fast from your celebrations,

cease from your never ending feasts,

and call out to the one who can save you.

15 For that day!

For the day of the Lord is near;

it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

16 Return to the Lord,

return to the one who made you.

Call out to the creator of the universe,

for an army of desolation is near at hand.


Chapter 2 

Tear Your Heart

1 The army is coming,

but “Even now,” declares the Lord,

“return to me with all your heart,

with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

2 God is gracious. Slow to anger. Abounding in love.

3 Who knows?

He may relent, and turn aside the advancing armies.

Who knows?

He may leave a blessing instead —

4 Sound the alarm you nations,

assemble the people of the earth.

Wash yourselves and pray for forgiveness.

5 Bring the world leaders.

The Kings and their assemblies.

6 Fall on your faces before God

Fall on your faces before God, for He is good.

7 Let them enquire of the Lord,

Let them cry out to the Holy one.

“Spare us oh Lord. Spare us.”

The Judgement of Nations

8 And in those days Judah will be restored.

God will gather the nations together.

9 He will gather the Kings and the rulers,

the nations and the people.

10 And He will say to them,

You sat in your high tower and said,

‘Who in the world is as great?’

11 You who trampled the widow,

the orphan and the Jew.

12 You who called yourselves gods,

and masters of your own fates.

13 I have called my people together…

Out of the slave houses, the slaughterhouses,

I have called them from the four corners.

14 And this why I call the nations to war.

This is why the nations will build tanks

from their tractors,

for you have proclaimed yourselves gods.

15 You have turned away your face,

You’ve forgotten your first love.

16 And so the great reaping winds

will go forth and cut down this evil.

The great and terrible day of the Lord is near.

A Blessing For God’s Repentant

17 “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,

dwell in Zion, my holy hill.

Jerusalem will be holy;

never again will foreigners invade her.

18″In that day the mountains will drip new wine,

and the hills will flow with milk;

all the ravines of Judah will run with water.

A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house

and will water the valley of acacias.

19But Egypt will be desolate,

Edom a desert waste,

because of violence done to the people of Judah,

in whose land they shed innocent blood.

20Judah will be inhabited forever

and Jerusalem through all generations.

21Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?

No, I will not.”

The Lord dwells in Zion!


My own experience walking through the entire Bible so far, and the impact it has had on me, is just one of awe and surprise with how much God loves me. With just how much God loves you. We prefer to do our own thing. We prefer to go our own way. But He is standing just at our periphery, awaiting our return. He could wipe us out and start over, and yet He would rather we return, interact with Him and get our everything from Him.

We have been warned. We have been given a chance. Now is the time to commit our lives to Him. To ask forgiveness for our pride and hubrisness. To come and drink from the well that will allow you to never thirst again.