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Book Review: The Twelve (Joel)

Welcome to October’s book review for: The Twelve- A Transformational Journey Through The Minor Prophets by Parker Bradley.

Drawing from the insights of the Minor Prophets in the Bible, The Twelve is an encouraging, but also challenging resource for followers of Jesus, and anyone wanting to honestly understand how God reveals Himself in Scripture.

If you haven’t heard the introduction episode, go ahead and do that - it only lasts a few minutes and will explain what the plan is going forward. We covered the chapter on Hosea last month and are covering the chapter on Joel this episode.

Joel is only three chapters, but it is an intense read. I was curious as to how Parker Bradley would approach it. There is much to be understood from this short book. There are a lot of dramatic events described in Joel, like locust swarms, God’s unstoppable army, heavens shaking, earthquakes, stars no longer shining - that are also referenced in Revelation 8 and 9. Parker Bradley briefly mentions this, but does not do an in-depth comparison of Joel and Revelation.

Bradley speaks of past events in history involving locust swarms, but that was just one of the plights mentioned in Joel. For example, nowhere in history has there been reported a divine army, the sun and moon becoming dark and the stars no longer shining, as described in Joel 2. So, how much of Joel is prophetic?

Bradley mentions The Day of the Lord as a reference to any major event happening with the Lord, however, this day, is referenced in Zechariah 14, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Thessalonians 2, 2 Peter 3 and seems to connect this event with Jesus’ second coming. Joel 2 also speaks of the Day of the Lord, and with descriptions that coincide with those in Revelation 8 and 9.

Joel, as mentioned, is a book comprised of a few hefty chapters. How much of Joel is prophetic and what the Day of the Lord refers to, can be discussed or even debated. The most important thing with Bradley’s review is that he focuses on the main message - repentance and restoration of God’s people - the message that is a thread throughout the entire Bible. Parker Bradley approaches Joel with the focus of redemption from the culture of man through the ages that has what he calls, a common denominator - the failing nature of man. We are encouraged to not only remember that we needed to be rescued, but also the reason we needed to be rescued.

It’s good to have the main message of redemption and restoration in mind when reading Joel (or any other part of the Bible) and keep praying for God, through His Holy Spirit to reveal whatever else we need to know and understand about the finer details. Bradley does a good job of pointing to scripture to explain why we need redemption and how we can be restored. Nothing has changed in the nature of mankind since Joel - but thankfully someone was sent to change the history of mankind - Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I am reminded of the verse from Philippians 1:6

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

In Summary - Bradley gives a clear, thought provoking account of the Book of Joel, focusing on the main message that all can understand - repentance and restoration. Bradley repeats Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30: 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [a]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

This was another great chapter in The Twelve, by Parker Bradley. I look forward to the next chapter, Amos, which we will be reviewing next month.

Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20


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