We were warned the battery was weak with instruments that revealed the power left; but we kept going because we wanted to get to our destination in our time in our own way. That was a mistake in judgement and wisdom.
ONLY GOD. As I read over this chapter that continues a warning to all God’s people and the treacherous, evil obsessed people around them, I am even more impressed with the love, patience, and compassionate heart God has for us. Truly His mercies are new and fresh each morning, each day of our lives here, as we yield our hearts, allow the transformation of our minds and a filling of our souls with all HE wants.
The prophet Joel warns Israel about God’s impending judgment for its spiritual complacency and religious neglect. When the people prospered, they abandoned God or minimized the importance of him in their lives.
When things in life are going well, do we forget who got us there?
Do we ignore the warning lights, bells and buzzers that are going off in our minds?
God always gives us chances, opportunities to repent before he inflicts discipline. Like a loving parent, God’s purpose is not to punish but to correct and nurture. Even now, it is God’s will that “no one perish” but that all the world would believe and be saved by Jesus who died for our sins and rose to be our hope forever. (2 Peter 3:9 and John 3:16) God also shows a safe place to hide when evil runs rampant under the shadow of his loving wings of protection. (Psalm 91:4) Our God, that is who He is…
Joel 3, The Message
God Is a Safe Hiding Place
1-3 “In those days, yes, at that very time
when I put life back together again for Judah and Jerusalem,
I’ll assemble all the godless nations.
I’ll lead them down into Judgment Valley
And put them all on trial, and judge them one and all
because of their treatment of my own people Israel.
They scattered my people all over the pagan world
and grabbed my land for themselves.
They threw dice for my people
and used them for barter.
They would trade a boy for a whore,
sell a girl for a bottle of wine when they wanted a drink.
* * *
4-8 “As for you, Tyre and Sidon and Philistia,
why should I bother with you?
Are you trying to get back at me
for something I did to you?
If you are, forget it.
I’ll see to it that it boomerangs on you.
You robbed me, cleaned me out of silver and gold,
carted off everything valuable to furnish your own temples.
You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem
into slavery to the Greeks in faraway places.
But I’m going to reverse your crime.
I’m going to free those slaves.
I’ll have done to you what you did to them:
I’ll sell your children as slaves to your neighbors,
And they’ll sell them to the far-off Sabeans.”
* * *
9-11 Announce this to the godless nations:
Prepare for battle!
Soldiers at attention!
Present arms! Advance!
Turn your shovels into swords,
turn your hoes into spears.
Let the weak one throw out his chest
and say, “I’m tough, I’m a fighter.”
Hurry up, pagans! Wherever you are, get a move on!
Get your act together.
Prepare to be
shattered by God!
12 Let the pagan nations set out
for Judgment Valley.
There I’ll take my place at the bench
and judge all the surrounding nations.
13 “Swing the sickle—
the harvest is ready.
Stomp on the grapes—
the winepress is full.
The wine vats are full,
overflowing with vintage evil.
14 “Mass confusion, mob uproar—
in Decision Valley!
God’s Judgment Day has arrived
in Decision Valley.
15-17 “The sky turns black,
sun and moon go dark, stars burn out.
God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem.
Earth and sky quake in terror.
But God is a safe hiding place,
a granite safe house for the children of Israel.
Then you’ll know for sure
that I’m your God,
Living in Zion,
my sacred mountain.
Jerusalem will be a sacred city,
posted: ‘no trespassing.’
Milk Rivering out of the Hills
18-21 “What a day!
Wine streaming off the mountains,
Milk rivering out of the hills,
water flowing everywhere in Judah,
A fountain pouring out of God’s Sanctuary,
watering all the parks and gardens!
But Egypt will be reduced to weeds in a vacant lot,
Edom turned into barren badlands,
All because of brutalities to the Judean people,
the atrocities and murders of helpless innocents.
Meanwhile, Judah will be filled with people,
Jerusalem inhabited forever.
The sins I haven’t already forgiven, I’ll forgive.”
God has moved into Zion for good.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Believe, really believe that what God says about who He is, what He has done, is doing and will do, is really real. If we do believe; we are saved for God has forgiven us perfectly and completely. Trust and Obey God.
My prayer this morning even before reading this scripture for myself might be helpful to you today…
Thank you for hearing my heart and words in the quiet of this first hour of this day. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for peace when evil brings panic to my heart and rattles my mind. Continue to replace worry with wisdom, panic for peace, concerns with contentment. I trust you, dear Jesus, I trust you. Thank you, Lord. You are indeed my hiding place when the battle gets rough and I need to turn it all over to you. There is no one like You! Nothing is too hard for you. With You all is possible and all is well with my soul. I’m living underneath the shadow of your protective wing. Amazing love!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen