What does a picture of a pruning sheer have to do with a call to arms?
What does the phrase “a call to arms” communicate to you?
Who does the phrase “a call to arms” usually instruct?
What tools are usually involved in “a call to arms”?
What is the point of Joel 3:10?
ESV Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
Who is speaking in Joel 3:10?
Ultimately, the entire book of Joel is the Lord sending a message to His people the Judeans through His prophet Joel:
ESV Joel 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.
Joel 1 described in detail the plight of the Judeans implying regularly that the reason for their plight was because they had neglected maintaining a wholehearted relationship with the Lord.
Joel 2 reveals when the Lord sends out His heavenly army there is nothing that will stand in its way except a heart that has humbled itself completely before Him.
Once one humbles themselves before the Lord, the Lord promises restoration of not only physical provisions, but most importantly, spiritual gifts never imagined. (See Joel 2:28-32).
Joel 3:1-8 turns the Lord’s attention on all who have ever harmed the Judeans or ridiculed God Himself.
Who is being spoken to in Joel 3:10?
Read Joel 3:9-10:
ESV Joel 3:9-10 Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
Technically, there are two groups being instructed at this point in Joel. Both the Judeans with instructions to communicate the message that is being shared and the nations who they are to speak it to.
Why are the nations being issued a call to arms in Joel 3:10?
The Lord states the reason for a call to arms of the surrounding nations in Joel 3:1-8.
These nations had taken severe advantage of the Judeans by selling them to indulge in momentary pleasures and to decimate their ability to be unified as a nation.
These nations had also ridiculed the Lord, thinking He was/is incapable of providing for or defending the Judeans.
- What is ironic about the specifics in Joel 3:10?
- Do soldiers normally use farming equipment in battle?
- Do the weakest members of a nation, whether physically, morally, or intellectually, typically considered quality candidates for becoming soldiers?
- Can you sense the taunting that is present in Joel 3:10?
The nations are being told that doing battle with the Lord of the Judeans will take every single resource available to them they have, even the most unlikely.
The Lord is saying His power is so mighty that the nations who oppose Him and the Judeans will need to refashion their farming instruments and conscript even the weakest members of their people groups to come to battle because their strongest warriors will not be able to overcome Him.
What does this communicate to the Judeans?
Read the following verses:
ESV Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
ESV Micah 4:3 He shall judge between many peoples and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
ESV Zechariah 12:8 On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them.
These verses predict a time when the surrounding nations will no longer oppose the Judeans and in fact, will turn toward desiring relationship with the Lord and when even the weakest member of the Judeans will be as strong as King David had been with the Lord’s protection and power guiding Him.
This is the exact opposite of what is stated in Joel 3:10 about the nations.
The Judeans are being told the Lord will be faithful to the covenant He offered Noah, Abraham, and Moses that they are His chosen people whom He will provide for and defend so that they may be a His witness to all other surrounding nations.
Not only will He rectify the wrongs done to the Judeans and despised His name, but He will also provide a future of peace between all nations.
How does this apply to us today?
Read the following verses:
ESV Acts 1:7-8 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We do not need to focus on times or seasons. We need to focus on developing a wholehearted relationship with the Lord, to believing what Scripture teaches us, receiving power from the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised both in Joel and from Christ as we witness to those in our lives.
May we each find ways in the days, weeks, months to come to witness through the way we live out our lives the glorious abundant faithfulness of our Lord.
This is a call to arms for all believers.
What other thoughts strike you about this verse or study?
Leave a comment or email me!
P.S. Happy Easter!
Share with others:
- Names and Their Meaning: Joel 1:1
- Breaking News : Joel 1:2
- Sharing Stories : Joel 1:3
- Current Crisis : Joel 1:4
- Shortages Today : Joel 1:5
- Gone Viral : Joel 1:6
- Vulnerable: Joel 1:7
- Heartbreak: Joel 1:8
- Cut Off: Joel 1:9
- What is Essential? Joel 1:10
- Shame, Distress, or Despair Joel 1:11
- What is Joy? Joel 1:12
- Dressing for Spiritual Leadership Joel 1:13
- Crying Out Joel 1:14
- Perspectives and Opinions Joel 1:15
- Emotions Joel 1:16
- Neglect Joel 1:17
- Even the Sheep Suffer Joel 1:18
- Fire Joel 1:19
- Soul Thirst Joel 1:20
- It’s Coming! Joel 2:1
- Thunderstorms Joel 2:2
- Hard Times Joel 2:3
- Power Joel 2:4-5
- Overwhelmed Joel 2:6
- Action Joel 2:7-9
- Earthquake and Eclipse Joel 2:10
- Endurance Joel 2:11
- Hope or Despair Joel 2:12
- Sincerity Joel 2:13-14
- Call to Attention Joel 2:15
- Purpose Joel 2:16
- Compromised Reputation Joel 2:17
- To Take Pity Joel 2:18
- Satisfied Joel 2:19
- Greatness Joel 2:20
- Be Glad and Rejoice Joel 2:21
- Gardening Excitement Joel 2:22
- The Joy of Rain Joel 2:23
- A Feast of Thanksgiving Joel 2:24
- Promise Joel 2:25
- Plenty Joel 2:26
- Are You Convinced Joel 2:27
- A Turning Point Joel 2:28
- Adjusting Joel 2:29
- Wonders Joel 2:30
- Portents vs. Superstitions Joel 2:31
- Call Joel 2:32
- Fortune Joel 3:1
- Judgment Joel 3:2
- Temptations Joel 3:3
- Specific Joel 3:4
- Ownership Joel 3:5
- Motive Joel 3:6
- Vengeance Joel 3:7
- Speech Joel 3:8
- Proclaim Joel 3:9