VERSES: Joel 1:1-3:21
MEMORY VERSE: Joel 2:13 "...rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD you God..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Hebrews. Write "Hebrews" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of Bible class, so the students may take it home to memorize.
PRAYER: Thank God for the wonderful food that He gives us. Thank Him for being a good, kind, and merciful God that loves us so very much.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Loves Me (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below)
- What do we know about Joel? Joel, like Hosea, was one of the minor prophets, which meant that he only wrote a little bit compared to other prophets, writing only three chapters in his book. We do not know much about Joel as a person, only what he wrote. His name means "Jehovah Is God." Sometimes Joel is called the "Prophet of Pentecost" because some his prophecies (Joel 2:28-32) were fulfilled in the book of Acts in the New Testament on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:16-47).
- He pleaded with the people to repent from their wickedness and return to God, like all of the prophets did before him and after him. What made Joel a little different than some of the other prophets is that, during, his warnings and pleadings with the people, there was a great pestilence. A 'pestilence' is like a plague. Remember our lessons on the Plagues of Egypt (see the lessons in April and May on the Plagues 1-10 on this blog)? A pestilence was a tremendous amount of insects that would infect the land and do much damage to the crops, so there would be a famine or no food to eat.
- Here, in Joel's time, the beginning of the pestilence that ravaged the land were thousands and thousands of locusts. They ate and ate and eventually they went away. Then when the locusts had eaten all they could, there was still a little bit of stalks on the plants; not much, but there was a little bit left. Next, the palmerworms , which was a type of caterpillar, came after the locusts and ate all they could, but there was little bit left. After the palmerworms, the cankerworms, which were certain types of moths and their larvae, came and ate a little bit more. And, finally, the caterpillars came and ate what the cankerworms left. Then...there was no food at all for the people. There were no grapes, no figs, no corn, no oil, no wheat, no barley, no pomegranates, no fruit of the palm trees, no apples, no seeds, no food at all for the animals or the people. The people suffered.
- Joel said that the reason for their suffering and the pestilence was because God wanted the people to be sorry for the wrongs that they had been doing, and to weep, fast, mourn, and tear their hearts, not their clothes, and to turn to Him again. Joel said that God was good, gracious and kind, that He was slow to get angry and was merciful to those who returned to Him. Joel pleaded with the people to do good, but they would not listen. God was ready to give the people all the things back if they would only return to Him, but they would not repent or be sorry for their wicked deeds,
- The book of Joel is written in two main parts. The first part is Joel speaking (Joel 1:1-2:17) and the second part is God speaking (Joel 2:18-3:21).
Materials needed: 9" x 12" light blue construction paper, five pieces of white bond paper, crayons, marker, stapler, staples, scissors.
- Because there is a lot of writing with pictures, it might a good idea for the Bible teacher to cut both the blue and the white papers in half, lengthwise. Or, the books could even be stapled together in advance. See what is best for your size of class.
- Hand out two pieces of 4.5" light blue paper.
- Hand out ten pieces of 4.25" x 11" white paper.
- Place the ten white papers inside the two blue papers.
- Line papers up on one side.
- Staple on the left side of the papers.
- NUMBER THE WHITE PAGES ONLY ON THE RIGHT SIDE.
- FRONT COVER: Write "What Happened In The Book Of JOEL.'.
- INSIDE BLUE COVER: Draw Joel preaching. Write the word REPENT in a speech bubble.
- PAGE 1: Write "Joel was a prophet of God."
- PAGE 2: Write "Because the people turned away from God, bad things happened." Write the word, "away" in red.
- BACK OF PAGE 2: Blank.
- PAGE 3: Draw a healthy looking green plant with a few locusts eating the leaves. Idea: The Students can trace their thumbs for the bodies of the locusts, adding eyes, wings, and legs.
- BACK OF PAGE 3: Blank.
- PAGE 4: Write: "But there was a little bit left."
- BACK OF PAGE 4: Write "Next, the palmerworms came and ate all they could."
- PAGE 5: Draw an unhealthy looking greenish plant with brown wiggles for palmerworms on the plant.
- BACK OF PAGE 5: Blank.
- PAGE 6: Write "But there was a little bit left."
- BACK OF PAGE 6: Write "Then the cankerworms came and ate all they could."
- PAGE 7: Draw a stem of a plant with brown circles with a line through the, (like the "NO" sign) and brown lines for the cankerworms and larvae. The cankerworm is supposed to look like a small moth.
- BACK OF PAGE 7: Blank.
- PAGE 8: Write "But there was a little bit left."
- BACK OF PAGE 8: Write "Finally, the caterpillars came and ate all they could."
- PAGE 9: Draw a picture of hardly any green stem at all with orange caterpillars on it.
- BACK OF PAGE 9: Blank.
- PAGE 10: Write "There was nothing left."
- BACK OF PAGE 10: Write "No grapes. No figs. No corn. No oil. No wheat. No barley. no pomegranates. No fruit of the palm trees. No apples. No seeds. NO FOOD!" Write NO FOOD in red.
- INSIDE BACK BLUE COVER: Write: The people suffered, but they did not learn." in red. Below that, write: "(Food is a blessing from God.)"