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Earth Community in Joel 1-2: A Call to Identify with the Rest of Creation

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Earth is the major participant in the events depicted in Joel 1-2 [Eng. 1:1-2:27], calling for a geocentric interpretation of this material. A locust plague (and drought) is wreaking havoc on the Earth. God and Earth are mourning the affliction of the soil, animals, and plants brought on by human sin and a concomitant divine judgment. As members of the Earth Community, humans are expected to join with, comfort, and mourn with the rest of Creation. While the nonhuman members of Earth Community are quick to mourn the crisis, the human members are the last to respond. This is troublesome, since human sin and God's judgment have brought about the demise of creation, and human repentance is expected to effect a restoration. Once humans begin to respond to the calls to mourn with creation, however, God repents of the divine judgment and intervenes to restore Earth Community.


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