“Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation” (Joel 1:3).
The prophecies of Joel were occasioned by a devastating plague of locust that recently had come upon the land of Canaan. Joel, a Judean prophet under the guidance of God’s Spirit, interpreted the locust plague as a vivid picture of the kind of judgment that would be visited upon mankind in “the day of the Lord” — a predominant theme in this book. The coming judgment should be an incentive to repentance.
In the first portion of his prophecy, Joel urges the elders of the land to consider the horrible plague that had descended upon the land. Nothing in their memories could rival it.
More importantly, the vivid lessons learned from the devastation must be passed on to future generations. “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation,” he declared.
One is reminded of the admonition of the psalmist when he announced that God had
“appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born; who should arise and tell them to their children ...” (Psalm 78:5, 6).
Each generation is responsible for its own conduct (God has no grandchildren), but certainly we can influence, for good or bad, those who come after us (cf. Exodus 20:5-6). Block off Joel 1:3, and in your margin remind yourself: Parental responsibility to teach children.