“Don’t be afraid my people. Be glad now and rejoice for the Lord has done great things. Don’t be afraid you animals of the field for the pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with fruit. Fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more. Rejoice you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain He sends demonstrates His faithfulness.”
Joel prophesied in a time of significant drought and locust infestation in the land of Judah. The book of Joel describes God’s judgment in the land and the terrible desolation by the locusts and lack of rain, emblematic of the inner sickness eating away at the hearts of the people. It is a serious call for the people to repent seeking God’s mercy. Joel 2: 18 -20 is God’s promise to them for restoration and refreshment if they would only seek Him with their whole heart and turn to Him for guidance.
When disaster strikes, we can respond in one of two ways. We can turn to God and enter into a new relationship with Him as our leader or we turn away from Him blaming Him or others for our plight. Some might even deny God’ s existence. The people of ancient Israel experienced disaster and were faced with this same decision. Would they turn away from God in their time of disaster or turn to Him to seek His blessing?
What about you? Have overwhelming cares invaded your life and taken over? What has robbed you of joy? What have you lost? What gnaws away at your inner being, your soul? Do you sit in devastation surrounded by a parched land of hopelessness? God is the source of all life-giving rain! The One who promises to send the rains of righteousness to refresh thirsty souls.
To the people who faced disaster Joel brought forth the message that their God was fully in control of the future. Even though Judah’s future seemed in grave doubt and with signs of plague and drought threatening it’s very existence, Joel concluded His message with the divine assurance that Judah and Jerusalem would endure through all generations.
Though we will suffer loss in this life and face many difficulties, God can and does restore the years the locusts have stolen. God is the giver of restoration and fulfillment in life through our sincere seeking of Him and true repentance! His promise to us is a complete package of forgiveness and restoration, through His salvation plan. Our role? To come to Him without compromise, seeking His face for divine direction and then to celebrate life watching God, the creator of life weave golden threads through shambles, bless, repair and restore to make beauty out of ashes and grace moments out of torment.
Blessings for this day