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In the Bible, the Book of Joel is a short account of the punishments that can be brought against those who do not have faith in God, and the benefits that can be given to those that do. The book itself is considered to be written by one of the minor prophets, because it is not as extensive as others in the Old Testament. This does not, however, mean that the content of the book is any less important. The message contained in the book is as essential to any true practitioner of the faith as the more prophetic writings, for it demonstrates the true foundation of Christianity and Judaism.
The book begins by describing two hardships facing people:
- A locust storm
- A severe drought
The agricultural problems are, in turn, impacting everyone, farmers and merchants to the practices within the temple, as sacrifices cannot be made. In response to these hardships, a call is made to all individuals to dedicate themselves to the teachings of God, learning from their mistakes and finding themselves in good favor. Contingent upon this occurring, the book then describes several benefits of such a practice. The locusts will be removed; the drought will be lifted and agricultural production will begin again. While these symbols of God's care and dedication are essential in the interim, the message continues to describe the long-term blessings and protections that He will bestow upon those that believe in Him. To reinforce the importance of this point, the book closes by explaining the trials and tribulations that God's judgment will bring to nonbelievers, including the destruction of hedonistic and heathen societies. The Book of Joel provides a great deal of insight into what is likely to happen to the masses if they do not remedy their ways and alter their belief systems; though the prophetic messages conveyed are much more simplistic than in other books, the message is no less essential.