Key Verses: Joel 2:13, 17, 28-29
“So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
…Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
“Where is their God?”‘
…And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
There is so much in today’s reading from which we can learn. Because of the importance of Joel 2, we have quoted more verses in this blog than in any other to date.
(1) Twice Joel writes in this chapter, “Blow the trumpet in Zion!” The central mountain in Jerusalem is Mt. Zion. The trumpet symbolizes the preaching of the Message. May we proclaim God’s message faithfully!
(2) Tearing garments still symbolizes extreme grief for many Jewish people. May our hearts be broken in “fasting,” “weeping,” and “mourning” over our sins and the sins of our world!
(3) Priests, whose job it is to represent the human family to God, are to weep over the sins of the people and over the mess we have made of the beautiful garden God intended this earth to be. The New Testament teaches that all believers in Jesus should consider themselves to be priests. John referred to all the people in the seven churches as “Priests.” Therefore, we should weep over sin and separation from God.
(4) God has poured out His “Spirit on all flesh.” All will not receive this outpouring of God. Nevertheless, it’s our responsibility as “sons,” “daughters,” “old men,” “young men” (women inferred), “Menservants” (all males), “Maidservants” (all females), to “Prophesy!” What is New Testament “prophecy”? “The testimony of Jesus is the “spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10b). Sharing Jesus with the whole world is the primary responsibility of all believers who have opened their lives to receive the outpouring of God’s Spirit! Every time we share Jesus, know that the Holy Spirit is “on all flesh.” The Holy Spirit is doing His work! Are we doing our most important work of inviting people to give their lives to Jesus?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I don’t know how to put fasting, weeping and mourning into the words of this brief prayer, but I’m committed to practicing those evidences of a heart that is torn up by the desperate human need I see all around me. I pray for grace to keep on being filled with Your Holy Spirit, 24/7! I pray for the fulfillment of the dreams and visions You are giving me as prophesied by Joel and quoted by Peter on the birthday of Christ’s Church here on earth! In the Name of the One who sounded “the trumpet in Zion” more loudly and more urgently that any other, the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As a Pastor of local congregations in my early years, I would often take literally the call of Joel to weep “between the porch and the altar.” I would walk the aisles, between the pews, and at the church altar, praying early in the mornings for my members, their families, and for our community. I also did this on the road as an itinerate Evangelist, and I did this daily in the TV studios where later in the day we would “Blow the trumpet” of God’s message to our continent and beyond.
Yours for the success of God’s cause!