How foolish and rude to run away from God. How hard it must be to live without him—I couldn’t imagine that—I take that back; up until 8 ½ years ago, I did exactly that! I didn’t know what I was missing. It’s a misconception to think that following Jesus will be boring and take the fun out of life—just the opposite is true! But nevertheless, most still do. Since Eden, we have sought independence from His control, as though we were gods and could plot our own destiny. And He has allowed this rebellion. But soon the day of the Lord will come. The prophet Joel speaks of this day, and the message of this book is: Sin brings judgment; yet with God’s justice there is also great mercy!
“The day of the Lord is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be!
Our food disappears before our very eyes. No joyful celebrations are held in the house of our God.
The seeds die in the parched ground, and the grain crops fail. The barns stand empty, and granaries are abandoned.
How the animals moan with hunger! The herds of cattle wander about confused, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery.” Joel 1: 15-18
I know these words from Joel or rather, these inspired words of God are hard to hear but you must know that God is the One with whom we all must reckon-not nature, the economy, our political leaders, etc. Bottom line is that we can’t ignore or offend God forever. We are living on borrowed time; we either pay attention to God now, or face His anger later. The above verses describe a time when Judah had been plagued by locusts. The Bible Commentary tells us the “day of the Lord” is a common phrase in the Old Testament. It always refers to some extraordinary happening, whether it’s a present event (like a locust plague), an event in the near future (like the destruction of Jerusalem or the defeat of enemy nations), or the final period of history when God will defeat all the forces of evil.
Even when the day of the Lord refers to a present event, it also foreshadows the final day of the Lord. If you trust the Lord, looking toward this final day should give you hope, because then all who are faithful will be united forever with God.
Then this book turns into a call for repentance.
“Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
But tear your hearts instead.” Joel 2: 13
More to come…