The book of Joel is one of the Old Testament prophetic books, but it also has a clear and close association with lament literature. Graham Ogden takes seriously the book’s lament setting, exegeting it entirely from within that framework.
In his commentary on the book of Malachi, Richard Deutsch examines the religious, moral, and social aspects of the early postexilic Jewish community that the prophet was addressing in this brief book.
“The term lament in English has a negative connotation; it usually suggests a complaining, whining spirit. But the term as applied to OT laments needs to be qualified, for those psalms classified as laments almost always climax on a positive note with the worshiper confessing abiding confidence in God. The lament’s final tone is one of faith; it expresses confidence that the outcome lies in the hands of God, who is compassionate and faithful.” (Pages 10–11)
“It is a work which reflects a community under threat and in pain, a problem many contemporary Christian communities face” (Page 7)
“Joel’s point is that this is an unprecedented crisis which will leave an indelible impression on the nation’s memory” (Pages 18–19)
“a highly descriptive expression for complete devastation—nothing remains after they sweep by” (Page 20)
“As for Paul’s use of the term in Rom. 10:13, we see immediately that ‘salvation’ has another connotation. It certainly is not national restoration; rather, it is the opportunity, across every national barrier, for people to enter into fellowship with God. Such a new relationship will affect personal and national welfare, but it also has wider implications which include the continuance of that fellowship beyond death.” (Page 39)