Posts Tagged ‘Joel’

Not Ashamed

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Joel 2:25-27

Restoration is a beautiful thing.  I always find it interesting when something that was old and rusted and falling apart is restored to it’s former glory, as in a car or an antique.  When a person or nation is restored to a right relationship with the Lord, it is an even more beautiful thing.  These verses deal with the restoration of Israel.  Looking at them, we can apply them to ourselves or to anyone who is need of restoration.

“…I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…”  When we reject the Lord, we lose things.  When people get away from the Lord, they lose time.  They lose years off their life.  And while returning to the Lord might not “turn back the clock” and literally allow us to relive that wasted time, many things can be restored and made better.

“…ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied.”  When you return to the Lord, you will be satisfied.  That is one of the things that He promises.  He will satisfy our every need.

“My people shall never be ashamed.”  This phrase occurs in two consecutive verses.  Never being ashamed is an important thing.  Through my life, there are many things that I have done that I have been and am still ashamed of.  Following and obeying the Lord is not among them.  Thinking back, I am not ashamed of any time that I ever obeyed Him.  I am ashamed of the times I did not obey Him.

He can restore us, He can satisfy us, and He will not make us ashamed.


Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?  Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

Joel 2:17-18

In these verses, we see a blueprint for making intercession for our people and our country.  The priests and the ministers were supposed to weep for their people, saying “Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach.”  We should be praying this way for our people today.  We should be asking the Lord to spare our nation and spare our people.  Our people have sinned against the Lord, and we should be the ones praying and making intercession for them.  It’s easy to look around and see the ills of society and the blasphemers and the drunkards and blame them for everything.  It is a different matter to take a long, hard look at ourselves and start things there.

II Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”    I Peter 4:17 tell us “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…”

We are the ones who should be weeping and praying for our nation.  We are, in the New Testament, the “priests and ministers.”  We need to pray that the Lord would spare our people, that the Lord’s people would not be reproached, that the heathen would not rule over them, and that God would not be mocked.  These are all important things that are applicable to our situation today.

When was the last time we really prayed for our nation and our people?

What the Lord Wants

Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Joel 2:12-13

It seems like I keep writing about the same things as we go through the “minor” prophets, but the prophets keep saying the same things, so that is what I will write about.  The prophets, though varied in personality, had the same message from the Lord: repent and turn to the Lord or face further judgment.  In some of the books of the prophets, the people were already in the midst of judgment for their rejecting God.  Whatever their situation, the children of Israel needed desperately to turn back to the Lord.  That is the same situation that many people today find themselves in.

These verses give us some important pointers for returning to the Lord.  First, the Lord wants our whole heart.  “Turn ye even to me with all your heart…”  He doesn’t want halfhearted obedience or devotion.  Revelation 3:16, in describing the church of the Laodiceans, tells us “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”  He wants our whole heart.

Second, He wants a true sorrow for sins: “…and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.”  We should never take a flippant attitude toward sin.  God hates sin, it grieves Him and it sent His Son to the cross.  We should adopt the same attitude toward sin that God has.

Third, He wants our hearts, not just our outward motions.  “And rend your heart, and not your garments…”  He wants our hearts far more than our outward religious traditions and habits.  Our repentance must come from the heart.

Last, He wants to remind of His nature and of the fact that, if we will turn to Him as He has instructed, He will forgive us and have mercy on us.  “…for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…”  He is a gracious and merciful God Who wants to forgive us and have fellowship with us if we will obey Him.  I am always thankful for these reminders!

Pass It Down

The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.  Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land.  Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?  Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.

Joel 1:1-3

I thought it was interesting that the Lord would tell the Israelites to pass down a message of judgment to their children and their grandchildren and their great grandchildren.  I can understand passing down a message of peace and hope and mercy.  But why would God want them to pass down a message of judgment?

I think that the simple answer would be that the message of judgment is an important one.  It is far more pleasant to speak of the Lord’s mercy, goodness and love.  There is nothing at all wrong with speaking of those things.  In fact, we should be speaking of them constantly, thanking and praising the Lord for all of them and telling others about them.  But that is not the entire story.  There is also a message of judgment, a message that has too often been lost in today’s society.

II Corinthians 5:11 tells us that “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…”   Hebrews 9:27 says that “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  There is a coming judgment, and it will not be a pleasant one.  We will have to stand before the Lord and answer for the things we have done with what He has given us.  There is a coming judgment and we should be warning people about it.  Fortunately, God is merciful and longsuffering.  There is hope.  But, just as God told the Israelites, we should be passing down a warning of the judgment to come to future generations.