North Anderson Baptist Church
Return to the Lord!
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
1. A Great Crisis is at Hand - v. 1-11

These eleven verses are a repeat of chapter 1 in describing the invasion of the locusts and describing in more detail the swarm that came upon the land of God. I have read an account of another invasion of locusts in the 20th century recorded in 1915 in Palestine; it was so similar to this in Joel.

“The locust invasion started seven days ago and covered the sky. Today it took the locust clouds two hours to pass over the city. God protect us from the three plagues: war, locusts, and disease, for they are spreading through the country. Pity the poor.” Ihsan Hasan al-Turjman’s diary entry for March 29, 1915

“Locusts were first sighted outside Jerusalem at the end of March 1915. Eyewitness accounts of the invasion paint similar pictures of swarms of locusts blackening the sky and, in the words of Hadawi, appearing “in such density that they eclipsed the sun.” They describe the devastation and the sense of helplessness resulting from the onslaught of locusts.” The 1915 Locust Plague in Palestine Stefanie Wichhart
Of this locust invasion in Joel, it has been said by scholars that,
“Darkness had been a symbol; of the destructive aspect of the Day of God’s judgment.”TIB

And, Thompson has said of the blackness the locusts caused in Lebanon, “The whole face of the mountain was black with them.”and Jarvis has said of the blackness in Sinai, “a slow but steady inundation by a black flood.” In relationship to locusts these men among others have described the locusts much like that in Joel 2.
When Joel speaks of the blowing of the trumpet in Zion, he is calling for the warning that the locusts are coming, much like the Day of the Lord will come, it too was at hand for them. Someone has said in relationship to the final judgment, “This too (the locusts) was a divine visitation like that of the Day of the Lord in the final judgment.”
I think it is appropriate to remind us that “The day of the Lord” is used in several ways when reading the prophets. It might possibly be that “the day of the Lord” could be for those in Judah the coming of the fall of Jerusalem and the invasion of Judah by Babylon in 586 BC. Or, maybe even earlier when God sent the Assyrians to Israel in 722 BC, which was according to what I see in the timeline, just around the corner from Joel’s prophetic work. But, I also believe he speaks of the final judgment of the Lord God and so many of prophets seemed to have thought that it was imminent as well.

With that said, Joel is trying to get the people of Judah to realize their sin and to have them repent for they will not endure The Day of the Lord!
2. Return to the Lord - v. 12-17

This part of Joel is encouraging. Joel points out all that they have to do and that God is Gracious and Compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in Love. He says that God may even relent from sending the disaster that is to come if they will repent and return to God with all their hearts. That, of course, would be accompanied by fasting and mourning, in confession with offerings that were appropriate. And in keeping with the first chapter, Joel says, “blow the trumpet, (shophar,) declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly and gather the people together in a consecrated assembly.”

How important is this assembly? So important that they would call the “just married” to come, the bride and bridegroom would leave their chambers to come. Normally the bridegroom doesn’t even have to go to war for a full year, that is how important this event is.
They are to prepare themselves for repentance and return to God. They would Joel writes,
“Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

They are to plead with God so that He would relent His judgment and allow them to miss that terrible event Joel is calling for that is assured by God to come if they do not return to Him fully in repentance.
3. God Will Answer - v. 18-27

Here we have such a beautiful statement from God of what He will do IF they return to Him. It is obvious that they never did return to God because of what happened to the people of Israel and Judah. But…
If they had God would take pity on them and He would do all that is in this section including:

He would replenish the grain and wine

He would drive the invading army away and even the stench from the death that would come. (I think this is a reference to the locusts and the death of all of them that were in the land and that he would take those that were alive and drive them with the wind into the seas. Also, this could possibly be a reference to the upcoming invasion of the armies that were to take over the land of God, as well.)
“Just as He blew the locusts into the depths of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea (eastern and western seas), so He could drive the invading army out of the land. In one night, God killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, and Sennacherib went home a defeated king (Isa. 37:36-38). The corpses must have created quite a stench before they were buried.”(BEC - OT) Was Joel referring to this incident in the future where God, for a time, protected Jerusalem from the Assyrians? Maybe!
(Let me share one more aside. King Hezekiah was on the verge of being overrun by Sennachrib, King of Assyria, but Hezekiah called on the name of the Lord God and prayed and sought Him for safety while in the Temple of the Lord. And God heard his prayer and then delivered Jerusalem from Sennacherib by killing 185,000 soldiers of his army while they slept right outside the walls of the Holy City. Here we have a great example that if the people of God will repent and trust God that He, the Lord will deliver them, even to do it miraculously.)

The land would again become green and pastures and vines would flourish.

The rains would come again and the grain would be ready and overflowing in abundance.

God would repay the nation back for all that it lost during the locusts invasion.
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— (One of the most quoted verses by preachers regarding repentance from sin.)
"You cannot have back your time," said Charles Spurgeon, "but there is a strange and wonderful way in which God can give back to you the wasted blessings, the unripened fruits of years over which you mourned.... It is a pity that they should have been locust-eaten by your folly and negligence; but if they have been so, be not hopeless concerning them."

There would be lots to eat and people would then praise God.

Never again would God‘s people be put to shame. (How could God say that? In fact, He said it three times in these verses that have to do with the people repenting.) Let me be clear. God told them that He would never again put them to shame or that they would ever be put to shame again, if and only if, they repented and did what God required. It is obvious that in only this one occasion above with King Hezekiah, did God keep them from being shamed and from reading the history of the Jews that it seems that was the only time because their history tells another story. They were to endure shame from many nations and throughout the centuries because of their sin and their rebellion against God. Think of the exile, the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, and the loss of lives and lives taken in slavery then, and then the constant harssment of the Jews for centuries, and finally the Houlacost of the 20th century. Even today, there is intimidation and disapproval of the Jews and great anti-Semitic actions for all kinds of reasons, from so many nations and people.

In my opinion the Jews were given an opportunity not only by the prophet Joel but numbers of God’s prophets to repent and turn from their sin against God but they did not, with the exception of the Hezekiah experience. Look at what they did to Jesus, the coming Messiah of the Jews, whom they waited for and believed in even in the Jewish religion today, they turned from Him and for their own selfish purposes chose, as leaders of the Jews, to condemn Him to death, the death of the cross.
BUT God, in His infinite wisdom used them to bring to all the world, not just to the Jews, His plan for eternal life whereby ANYONE, all people, could have eternal life through the cross of Jesus by repentance of their individual sin and have forgiveness and then be given by grace everlasting life with God our Father forever.
Let me share this testimony for you today. A dear friend, Dr. Blair Wadell, from Huntsville, Alabama, told me yesterday this story. He was in Indonesia and was driving around the country with a Christian cab driver. He asked him to share how he was saved. This man had been a Muslim. There was a time of great persecution of Christians in that area where he lived, a while ago and he was acquainted with some Chrstians who were fearing for their lives and therefore left the country. They had asked him to watch their home. While there one day, a couple came by, who were Christians, looking for the people who own the house. His heart had hardened towards the Christians by then and he proceeded to behead them with his machete and bury them in the backyard.
Along came a great Christian one day who had taken his cab and dared to share the Gospel with this man. The cab driver told the Christian that he could not receive Christ because of what he had done. He told him what he had done to the Christians, and then the Christian said, “Let me tell you the story of Paul, in the New Testament.” He said all the way through the presentation the man cried such great tears and when the story was over the cab driver willingly and joyfully received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. My friend rejoiced as he told that story, saying that many people from around the world who come to Christ do so in danger of their own lives.
My friends here today, God made a way for anyone, including you and me to come to Christ through the Cross Of Jesus and by His blood He will cleanse you of your sin if you will but believe with your heart and confess that Jesus is Lord. Then God will give to you freely, by His grace, eternal life now and forevermore.
As never before, our lands today need healing. They are polluted by the shedding of innocent blood and the exploiting of both resources and people. We can claim God's promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 because we are "His people." ( “...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”) BEC - OT
4. The Day of the Lord - v. 28-32

This section is entitled “The Day of the Lord.” Some people have believed it is seen here, a clear description of that day of judgment. Others believe it is a description of a combination of things which have already happened or that which may be coming soon, the Day of the Lord!
At some point in history God would pour out His Spirit on His people. We know that God did that at Pentecost in Jerusalem 120 days after Jesus ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the throne of His Father. Peter even quoted clearly from Joel, verses 28-32. He did not quote from all of those verses but most and he did not use the last of verse 32. Why?
Let’s look at the context of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit had come and filled the disciples. And the people saw such a difference in their lives. God used this time to declare the coming of His Holy Spirit, the promise of God, so that men and women could all be filled with God’s Spirit and not just the disciple. Jesus said so much about the Holy Spirit that we can’t go into that now. But when the Spirit came He would bring to those whom He lived in the ability to dream and have visions and prophecy, but most of all to have a personal relationship with the true and living God. Wonders have been seen since the Holy Spirit has come, many of them spoke about the Lord and His power among men. Without the Holy Spirit we could not be saved, therefore, Joel and Peter say, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But there are a few verses that Peter quoted from Joel that don’t seem to fit well with the theme of Peter’s message.

30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
When Peter quotes Joel, from verse 31, he used “glorious day” rather than “dreadful day.” In light of what Peter talked of, the coming of the Holy Spirit was a glorious day, but in light of what Joel was speaking of in his book, he was speaking of the coming of the final judgment which was going to be a “dreadful” day to all who would be judged.
I think that the verses here in Joel speak of the day that God will judge the people and during that time as well as the time the Holy Spirit came upon people in Acts, the day of Judgment will be proceeded by the activity of the Holy Spirit, finally to bring as many to the Lord as possible. Being so, those who will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved during those days.

Our God has called upon us to seek His face and to turn from our wicked ways and humble ourselves before Him and then He will heal the land that we are in which so desperately needs healing. Can we Biblically use this scripture in this manner? Yes, I believe we can. God has consistently called His people to repent and return to the Lord.

Why would he do any different now?

Has the church not sinned?

Have you not sinned?

When will we do what God’s Word says?

Now is the time when we become real with God! Now is the time when we repent and turn from those sins which have held our Christian faith from growing stronger and allowing us to become the disciple God desires. If you are the best disciple God can have, then you do not need to pray and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you, so that He can make of you the disciple He desires. But if so, pray for the rest of us who so desperately need God to cleanse us from the sin that may cause revival from coming to our lives, to our church and to the world.
Thank you Father for faithful, truthful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who are honest with you and themselves about their lives and their relationship with you.

The altar is open today for prayer of repentance and return as well as seeking God with all your heart to walk with Him in truth and righteousness. He will hear the heart cry of those who are hurting and needing the comfort of the Father as well. All people are welcome to come and talk to Him during this time.


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby