Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:12, 14

“Even now — this is the Lord’s declaration — turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning…Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him, so you can offer grain and wine to the Lord your God.”
— ‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:12, 14‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

On occasion our youngest will do something ornery. He’s only five and a pretty sweet kid, so it’s not like he ever does but so much to get into trouble. But every now and then he’ll get out of line. Often on these occasions, we are more amused by what he’s done than upset and so we really aren’t looking to punish him. When he knows this he’ll grin really big at us with a little light in his eyes. He does this because he knows what’s coming. We smile back at him and say, “It’s a good thing you’re cute.” That’s a little like what we see here.

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Morning Musing: Joel 2:1-2, 11

“Blow the horn in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the residents of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; in fact, it is near — a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and total darkness, like the dawn spreading over the mountains; a great and strong people appears, such as never existed in ages past and never will again in all the generations to come…The Lord makes his voice heard in the presence of his army. His camp is very large; those who carry out his command are powerful. Indeed, the day of the Lord is terrible and dreadful — who can endure it?” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had a day whose coming you dreaded? A few years ago I got a speeding ticket—the only one I’ve ever gotten and even it was accidental because I missed a sign in a stretch of road where the limit kept changing from 55 to 45 and back. And, like any ticket, mine came with a court date. Boy, did I not want that day to come. The walk of shame to the judge’s bench to learn the punishment for my crime was not something I was looking forward to experiencing. What Joel says here suggests that the day of the Lord is one whose coming should fill us with a similar sense of dread…only worse. Why?

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Morning Musing: Joel 1:13-14

“Dress in sackcloth and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar. Come and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, because grain and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God. Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy? That’s a bit of a tough question to answer. Trying to talk to someone who has just experienced something really hard can be painfully awkward. Think about how you feel when you get to the front of a funeral visitation line. There might be more uncomfortable moments in life than that, but it’s definitely on the top ten list. Let me change the question just a bit on you: What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy, but you’re pretty sure it was their own fault?

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Morning Musing: Joel 1:2-3

“Hear this, you elders; listen, all you inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What kind of stories do you tell? What kind of vehicles do you use to tell your stories? The prophet Joel used a recent plague of locusts to tell his. I think there’s something we can learn from him. Let’s talk about what that is.

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Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:12

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;’”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been so deep in a mess of your own making that you figured you were just going to have to ride it out and endure it until the end? That’s an awful place to be. Is there anything we can do there other than to simply hang on for dear life? As a matter of fact there is. We can repent. 

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