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“God Promises His Presence"
During the time that Joel prophesied, possibly between 835 and 796 B.C., the people of Judah had become prosperous and complacent. Taking God for granted, they turned to self-centeredness, idolatry, and sin. Joel was appointed by God to warn the Southern Kingdom of Judah of God’s impending judgment because of their sins and to urge them to turn back to God. The prophet begins by describing a terrible plague of locusts that covered the land and devoured the crops (see Joel chapter 1). In Joel 2:1-11, he compares the locust invasion to a coming military invasion of Judah from the north. Both the invasion of the land by the locust and the future invasion by a nation from the north (both Assyria and Babylon) pointed to a future judgment called the Day of the LORD.