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A New Creation Reading of Joel 2:28-29

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This paper arises out of a longing to bring the book of Joel and particularly the text of Joel 2:28-291 into a new creation reading. God doesn’t stand separately from life calling humanity unto Him; He takes the initiative and emerges in the midst of
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   PENTECOSTAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH: A New Creation Reading Of Joel 2:28-29 PRESENTED TO LEE ROY MARTIN, DTH IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR OT501: PENTECOSTAL EXPLORATIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT BY STEVE WRIGHT CLEVELAND, TENNESSEE 4/27/2015   C ONTENTS   I. Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 1 II. Overview of Joel ...................................................................................................................... 2 III. Analysis of Joel 2.28-29 .......................................................................................................... 4 A. Chaos, Rescue and Judgment in Genesis .............................................................. 4 1. Echoes of ÒJoel-likeÓ Chaos in Genesis (The Beginning) ............................ 4 2. Echoes of ÒJoel-likeÓ Rescue in Genesis (The Covering) ............................ 7 3. Echoes of ÒJoel likeÓ Judgment in Genesis (The Future) ............................ 8 B. Chaos, Rescue and Judgment in Joel ........................................................................ 8 1. Condition Chaos-Devastation to Divine   (The Beginning) ......................... 8 2. Rescue for the Redeemed   (The Covering) .................................................. 10 3. Judgment and the Setting Right of all things   (The Future) ...................... 12 C. Chaos, Rescue and Judgment in the New Testament .......................................... 13 1. Embracing Chaos-At Just The Right Time   (The Beginning) .................... 13 2. Rescue-Through the Gates to the Cross   (The Covering) .......................... 15 3. Judgment-Beyond the Grave and New Creation (The Future) ............... 17 IV. Theological Function of Joel 2:28-29 .................................................................................. 18 V. Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 19 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 21 Sermon: ÒJoel, A New Creation ReadingÓ Testimony  I.   I NTRODUCTION   This paper arises out of a longing to bring the book of Joel and particularly the text of Joel 2:28-29 1  into a new creation reading. God doesnÕt stand separately from life calling humanity unto Him; He takes the initiative and emerges in the midst of life offering the world a way of reconciliation. There is coming a day every known and unknown part of the universe, along with God's people, will exhale a final sigh of  bondage, and inhale endless freedom. Restoration and renewal are words of soul. They sound healing to our souls that can be felt. There is a calling deep inside of each of us to return, a calling to return to the pronouncement of good. A place where life was at peace and life was full of unhindered fellowship with the creator. A calling back, that surprisingly is not backwards at all, but rather advancing, eternal and beautiful. The call is from ancient, but sounds of newness- for the Spirit of God is doing a Ònew thing.Ó Restoration and renewal are calling for GodÕs people to lift up their eyes from the devastation, destruction and decay and drink of the water that will never cease renewing. Joel 2:28-29 is an invitation to sons, daughters, old men, young men, and yes, even servants male and female. The call of "new creation" summons the children of God to follow until all things are set right. The echoes of the creation narrative, where chaos was brought to order, sounds its way forward like a mighty wave destined to crash upon the shores of broken humanity, that once reached, will return once again to the sea leaving the landscape eternally changed, fully and forever reflecting GodÕs glory. 1  (MT 3:1-5) English chapter and verse divisions are used throughout this paper.  2 II.   O VERVIEW OF J OEL    Joel's name appears solely in the title of the book, beyond that; his identity is only highlighted as "The son of Pethuel." Calvin calls JoelÕs place in history "obscure" and "uncertain." Calvin continues, "But we may conclude that he taught at Jerusalem, or at least in the kingdom of Judah." 2  Although limited information is known about Joel, it is plausible he is the author of the book or at the minimum the source of the material. We must contend with much critical assumptions about the book of Joel as to the issues of unity, authorship and date of the book of Joel. 3  Joel finds no consideration anywhere else in Scripture; therefore, no solid information can be known about the prophet independent of the Joel's narrative. However, this is not to say that the name Joel isnÕt common within the Old Testament. Concerning JoelÕs name, Baker suggests, ÒThe name provides little help in dating the prophecy, since a dozen people in the Old Testament have this name, ranging  between the tenth and fifth centuries B.C.Ó 4  The relative silence concerning information regarding JoelÕs background only highlights the reality that the book of Joel's central theme isn't Joel but instead, the central theme is properly God. The direction of Joel's book is a calling to repentance thus circumventing  judgment and instead, ensuring the blessings of God in light of the approaching day of the Lord. Judgment is afoot, and Judah is being warned of coming wrath. Whether 2  Calvin, John, and John Owen. Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets . Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010. 3  McQueen Larry R., Ò  Joel and the Spirit The Cry of a Prophetic HermeneuticÓ  (CPT Press May 7, 2009), 6Ð7. McQueen does an excellent eclectic overview of various theologians and their conclusions as to date and possible authorship. Prior to the end of the nineteenth century most theologians made the assumption the entire book of Joel was authored solely by Joel. 4  Baker, David. W. Ò  Joel, Obadiah, MalachiÓ (The NIV Application Commentary),  Zondervan (May 26, 2009) Kindle Loc: 595 of 7097  3 literally or allegorically Joel begins in devastation but doesnÕt end with the dreadful message of hopelessness but instead with hopefulness for all who will trust and follow God into his glorious future for Judah (GodÕs People). There are those who solely contend that a plague of locust did indeed descend upon Judah. Others, however, still recognizing that there was a plague of locust sees a schema of eschatological proportions and thus they see "the locust plague as a sign and a prelude to conquest by a human army..." 5  As the book launches with the Locust plague at center, its easy to recognize that the day of the Lord is being foreshadowed in  Judah through this terrible manifestation. Not only is the judgment upon them but it is pointing to future judgment as well. Next, our eyes are drawn to a second image of locusts and the invasion of destruction of Jerusalem under attack from the northern army. There is a tangible chaos and a curtain of darkness upon the face of the narrative. However, there is hope. There is grace. There is God. Restoration is possible, with repentance being the key to rescue. The rescuing rain of the LordÕs Spirit comes as a transformer and re-creator as the northern army is destroyed. Kindness showers down as the day of the Lord sets all things right, a signal of favor and renewal that will one day eternally come. Then, the final outcome of judgment is revealed. All who have fought against GodÕs people are  judged. The book ends with a signpost pointing to a coming a day where every known and unknown part of the universe will breathe a final sigh of anguish and embrace its freedom. GodÕs perfect fullness will flood the earth as the waters cover the sea. The kingdoms of this world offered by Satan at the temptation of Jesus will fully and forever  become the kingdoms of the Father and of Christ our Lord. 5  Garrett, Duane A. Hosea, Joel. Vol. 19A. The New American Commentary. ( Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997.)
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