“Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:14 NKJV
Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Why do we always think there is more time? Why do we always think we can repent in a few minute – or at the end of the day or at the end of the week or…. ? I cannot promise you another minute – therefore it is with all urgency I say repent, humble yourself and cry out to God!!!
Why is it we always think repentance is for the unsaved, the civil leaders, the wishy-washy fat baby Christians who refuse to go deeper? Joel literally says to the priest FIRST! You know the guys who kept themselves pure, atoned, and consecrated. If they were told to repent, fast and pray – then how much more does this apply to the average God fearing believer?
Why do we always think this is a story of past and not applicable to today? NOW IS THE TIME!
Why haven’t we learned from the Bible yet?
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Joel, chapters 1-3 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). How can we go through all that this book is in one day in this format?! God help us extract what you have for us today – and let us go back and study this deeply!
Here are some of the geek stuff on the book:
It was commonly thought that this book’s timeline was the end of the Babylonian exile – but historically no evidence has been found of a locust catastrophe of this magnitude during the exile. And Joel is pretty clear that the locust part is not the prophetic part, as it has already happened. There are signs of a devastating agricultural event much earlier in history (during the kings). Regardless of its actual chronological order in the Bible, the point and purpose of the book of Joel doesn’t change for them, then nor for anyone else reading at any time.
One last school of thought – the locust had not happened and Joel, like Ezekiel was transported to see a time after it already happened. In this case, the locust may also be symbolic – it literally says one thing after another, after another, after another and so one happened until we were completely devastated.
“2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.” Joel 1:2-3
It is almost like my mother telling me where she was when JFK was shot, except this event destroyed a nation. It is almost like me telling my son where he and I were on the original 9-11 (he was 4 and doesn’t remember). But it is more so like the year 2020 – one thing after another, and into 2021 watching our nation’s pride destroy itself. It would seem that maybe a little of both viewpoints are true.
So then let us quickly cover the main theme – or the point of the book.
The nation has suffered a judgment (the locust) and they did not repent. Why? Well, some people did not think they were bad enough to have to. Some people didn’t think the locust were from God – it was just a very unfortunate act of nature because they didn’t think God would actually be so righteous as to just His own people – which sound super nice and almost Christ like… BUT completely denies the Holiness of God! Oh Lord help us when we fail to understand who it is who loves us – and what real love is!
While still suffering from the first judgment – this book is a stern warning that YET ANOTHER judgement is coming, because they did not repent! Which I cannot deny sound so much like the theme of this blog over the past few months! We are suffering and more is coming if we do not repent! This is NOT a fear tactic – but you should be afraid. I mean, if you know God – you should fear Him and if the fear of the Lord motivates you, so be it!
It motivates me – If I do not warn people of the judgments then I am held responsible – and I do not want that! So let me be the crazy one yelling repent the kingdom of God is at hand! We cannot save souls and seek a harvest until we seek God first! Hello!!!
AND what we have been doing is NOT seeking God first – if it was, we would not be in this mess! Wake up and change what you are doing! The old way doesn’t work you crazy fool!
Sorry – I am getting caught up! Wooh!
Let me warn you with the title that I am worked up today. I hope you are wearing your seatbelt!
Glory to God!
So the point of the book is repent. Seek God. Go deeper – build a relationship for yourself. Then God restores. How beautiful. This is my testimony – the enemy (locust) robbed me and God restored me. This is most people’s testimony.
Now – read the book again. Meditate on it. This book is essential to understanding the tasks and role of the church! Peter said on the day of Pentecost (in the second chapter of the book of Acts) that the anointing of the flaming tongues and evidence of speaking in tongues was the first sign in the fulfillment of the book of Joel. There is so much to get into here – I wish I could.
Then Joel’s prophecies go right into the final judgments of the world and cross reference in revelations! We could take a month to really go line by line and precept by precept through all the wonderful mysteries of the Lord in this. Especially as so much applies to us, right now, in 2021!
The bottom line is – seek God. With all our heart. Have a real relationship with Him. Repent. Not just for our own sins but repent for the sins of our nation – or our world. Fast and pray – dig in deeper.
We can’t get through such a time as this without a stronger relationship with Him than we already have. Yes, even you whose pride says you are good – you aren’t! Remember the beginning of the book when it had to start with the people who were “good” (the priests)!
I know my God, I know He loves you, I know He wants to be even closer with you than you already are! Stop reading these and saying “good word” and start reading these and laying on your face and asking God for the revelation!
This is what God is saying. To me. To you. To the nations. To the remnant who still believe. To be like Zeak, Dan and Rack, Shack and Benny and not compromise and not bow we need to be stronger in the Lord and deeper in our relationship with Him.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!
1 John 4:4
NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Joel 1-3 NKJV
The Locust Plague in Judah
1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
The Land Laid Waste
2 Hear this, you elders,
And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land!
Has anything like this happened in your days,
Or even in the days of your fathers?
3 Tell your children about it,
Let your children tell their children,
And their children another generation.
4 What the chewing [a]locust left, the swarming locust has eaten;
What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten;
And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
5 Awake, you drunkards, and weep;
And wail, all you drinkers of wine,
Because of the new wine,
For it has been cut off from your mouth.
6 For a nation has come up against My land,
Strong, and without number;
His teeth are the teeth of a lion,
And he has the fangs of a [b]fierce lion.
7 He has laid waste My vine,
And [c]ruined My fig tree;
He has stripped it bare and thrown it away;
Its branches are made white.
8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth
For the husband of her youth.
9 The grain offering and the drink offering
Have been cut off from the house of the Lord;
The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord.
10 The field is wasted,
The land mourns;
For the grain is ruined,
The new wine is dried up,
The oil fails.
11 Be ashamed, you farmers,
Wail, you vinedressers,
For the wheat and the barley;
Because the harvest of the field has perished.
12 The vine has dried up,
And the fig tree has withered;
The pomegranate tree,
The palm tree also,
And the apple tree—
All the trees of the field are withered;
Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.
Mourning for the Land
13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;
Wail, you who minister before the altar;
Come, lie all night in sackcloth,
You who minister to my God;
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes,
Joy and gladness from the house of our God?
17 The seed shrivels under the clods,
Storehouses are in shambles;
Barns are broken down,
For the grain has withered.
18 How the animals groan!
The herds of cattle are restless,
Because they have no pasture;
Even the flocks of sheep [d]suffer punishment.
19 O Lord, to You I cry out;
For fire has devoured the [e]open pastures,
And a flame has burned all the trees of the field.
20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You,
For the water brooks are dried up,
And fire has devoured the [f]open pastures.
The Day of the Lord
2 Blow the [g]trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.
3 A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like [h]swift steeds, so they run.
5 With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces [i]are drained of color.
7 They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.
8 They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own [j]column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not [k]cut down.
9 They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.
11 The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?
A Call to Repentance
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
15 Blow the [l]trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should [m]rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”
The Land Refreshed
18 Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.
19 The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
20 “But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odor will rise,
Because he has done [n]monstrous things.”
21 Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done [o]marvelous things!
22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the [p]former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [q]locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
God’s Spirit Poured Out
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be [r]saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be [s]deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
God Judges the Nations
3 “For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.
3 They have cast lots for My people,
Have given a boy as payment for a harlot,
And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
4 “Indeed, what have you to do with Me,
O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia?
Will you [t]retaliate against Me?
But if you [u]retaliate against Me,
Swiftly and speedily I will return your [v]retaliation upon your own head;
5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold,
And have carried into your temples My [w]prized possessions.
6 Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem
You have sold to the Greeks,
That you may remove them far from their borders.
7 “Behold, I will raise them
Out of the place to which you have sold them,
And will return your [x]retaliation upon your own head.
8 I will sell your sons and your daughters
Into the hand of the people of Judah,
And they will sell them to the Sabeans,[y]
To a people far off;
For the Lord has spoken.”
9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your [z]pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ”
11 Assemble and come, all you nations,
And gather together all around.
Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, go down;
For the winepress is full,
The vats overflow—
For their wickedness is great.”
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will grow dark,
And the stars will diminish their brightness.
16 The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
17 “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem shall be holy,
And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
God Blesses His People
18 And it will come to pass in that day
That the mountains shall drip with new wine,
The hills shall flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water;
A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord
And water the Valley of [aa]Acacias.
19 “Egypt shall be a desolation,
And Edom a desolate wilderness,
Because of violence against the people of Judah,
For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall abide forever,
And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted;
For the Lord dwells in Zion.”
- Joel 1:4 Exact identity of these locusts unknown
- Joel 1:6 Or lioness
- Joel 1:7 Or splintered
- Joel 1:18 LXX, Vg. are made desolate
- Joel 1:19 Lit. pastures of the wilderness
- Joel 1:20 Lit. pastures of the wilderness
- Joel 2:1 ram’s horn
- Joel 2:4 Or horsemen
- Joel 2:6 LXX, Tg., Vg. gather blackness
- Joel 2:8 Lit. highway
- Joel 2:8 Halted by losses
- Joel 2:15 ram’s horn
- Joel 2:17 Or speak a proverb against them
- Joel 2:20 Lit. great
- Joel 2:21 Lit. great
- Joel 2:23 Or teacher of righteousness
- Joel 2:25 Exact identity of these locusts unknown
- Joel 2:32 Or delivered
- Joel 2:32 Or salvation
- Joel 3:4 Or render Me repayment
- Joel 3:4 Or repay Me
- Joel 3:4 Or repayment
- Joel 3:5 Lit. precious good things
- Joel 3:7 Or repayment
- Joel 3:8 Lit. Shebaites, Is. 60:6; Ezek. 27:22
- Joel 3:10 pruning knives
- Joel 3:18 Heb. Shittim