THE PROPHET JOEL LEFT A MESSAGE WRITTEN FOR OUR DAY—a warning which, If we had heeded it, would have kept us out of the troubles we now face, both within our nation and from outside. Like all men of his century, he was familiar with war and trouble, for war was almost the normal condition of the kingdom of that day; and conquerors then did not help their defeated victims back to prosperity, as we do — if the losers were not exterminated, they were either enslaved or put under heavy tribute taxes, after first being thoroughly looted by the conqueror. Therefore, it took a startling vision, indeed, to arouse Joel to the excitement he displays in this short book: It is something unlike anything previously seen.
He begins, “The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: “Hear this, ye elders, 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.” There had been nothing like it In the past; neither was It for the near future, but the prophecy was to be preserved for many generations. His prophecy deals with the Day of the Lord”—something which has not yet come, but which all the signs of both prophecy and current history prove to be just a short time ahead of us, today.