Thinking about Joel…

“Pass the awful story down from generation to generation.”

The last bit of the Jewish nation was facing devastation as God spoke to them through Joel. Everything they knew of their way of life was being stripped away as they inched ever nearer to a destruction they were powerless to stop – a destruction justly brought by God Himself. It may have been a punishment deserved, but God was not eager for the judgment. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament writings, we find Him patiently reminding His people of all He’d done; every trial through which He’d led, and every danger from which He’d rescued.

And so, again, God opens a door of escape. “Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts.” It wasn’t just an outward change that God was asking for, He desired the very heart of His people.

He still does.

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike.” What a turnaround! In response to genuine contrition, not only does God offer back all that they have lost, He also promises His own Spirit. Once again, an “awful story” redeemed by gracious and merciful God.

May His grace and mercy continue to break through calloused hearts as they are given fully to Him. May His Spirit continue to inspire His people to dream dreams that only He can bring to fulfillment. And May we lean completely on His presence for every breath we breathe.

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