The reading today was the book of Joel. I like Joel a lot because there's just as much or more prophecy of restoration as there is prophecy of judgment. If you were having trouble following exactly what was happening, this is the general consensus among scholars (in a nutshell):
  • 1:1-20 -- There is a locust invasion and extreme drought in the land. Joel uses this historical event to foreshadow God's judgment.
  • 2:1-17 -- Joel prophecies an army invasion and uses the locust invasion as an example of the destruction this invasion will bring. This is because of the unfaithfulness of the people, particularly in the area of their failure to bring offerings to the temple (1:13).
  • 2:18-32 -- The Lord responds to the repentance of the people by being merciful and restoring them.
  • 3:1-21 -- Joel prophecies a global judgment, but promises that all those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
I love that a big part of this promised restoration is an aspect of our faith that we currently experience: the constant presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21) explaining that they had just seen the fulfillment of that prophecy. Paul quotes Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13 as he explains that the salvation of Jesus Christ is for all people regardless of nationality, sex, or social status.

All of this judgment came because Israel wouldn't make God "ultimate" in their life. Join me today in making serving/loving God your #1 priority today. Infuse it into everything you do today--every conversation you have today!