“Hear this, you elders, And listen, all you inhabitants of the land. Has this ever happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers?”
There is great responsibility in being an elder or a leader in a situation. We are all accountable to God, but those who have been given authority are more strictly measured and more closely accountable. It is a heavy duty to take upon oneself, in becoming a director of people and not a situation to gain importance or personal kudos for oneself. Joel calls the leaders to hear what he has to say, and not be proud in their attitude towards the Word of the Lord.
“Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.”
However, we are all accountable to God for our life and conduct. The prophet is addressing everyone, all the inhabitants of the land, and is charging them to listen and pay close attention to what he says. We also are constrained to listen to our God and to pay close attention to His commands and requirements. He is the LORD…
A dreadful physical calamity has occurred in the land, and locusts have destroyed everything. They have stripped the crops and neither the humans nor the animals have anything to eat. People are dying and the whole economic and social structure of the country has broken down and lawlessness is setting in.
Joel asks the rhetorical question….
Nothing like his has ever happened before in the history of the nation and the people along with the elders are devastated as the land has been stripped bare. This devastation is so intense and complete that no one can remember such a thing happened before. God has sent a severe trial to the people that no one in preceding generations has experienced.
Joel is speaking up about it and calls the people and their leaders to listen to him and hear what he has to say, for it is a message from the Lord to help them through warning.