In our study, we will look at how God can use a natural disaster to get the attention of His people and to communicate spiritual truth to them. This is a historical look at a plague of locusts that happened but it is also a prophetic look at the coming disaster upon the earth.
"The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel." NIV translation
We are introduced to the prophet Joel and his name means "Jehovah is God". Jehovah comes from the Hebrew "ha-wah" which means "he causes to become" and it describes how God is the Creator of all things.
He was sent by God to give this message to the southern kingdom of Judah after a plague of locusts had devastated the land.
"Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?" NIV translation
Joel begins by asking if they have ever heard of anything like this plague happening before. They should have heard of a similar thing from when their ancestors were delivered from Egypt (see Exodus 10). Just as God had used locusts to be a sign to Pharaoh, He used them again to get Israel's attention. They are also going to be used in the last days as we see in Revelation 9.
"Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." NIV translation
In Exodus 10, the Israelites were given the same instruction to tell their children of that plague. It is a reminder for us, as parents, that it is our job to tell our children about the things of God. It has always been and always will be the responsibility of the parent (see Proverbs 22:6).