In Today's Scripture Reading:
Plague of locusts; Joel's call to repentance; day of the Lord; the Holy Spirit; restoration of Israel; judgment on nations
Joel warned of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. In mercy, the Word of the Lord . . . came to Joel . . . . Blow . . . the trum-pet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain (Joel 1:1; 2:1). The trumpet was often used to announce solemn days and feasts, and by watchmen to warn of approaching danger (Numbers 10:1-10). But, the sins of the Israelites were even more serious than the approaching enemies. Because of their sins, God could not bless them or protect them. The day of the Lord cometh . . . a great people. . . . nothing shall escape them. . . . Therefore . . . turn . . . to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning (Joel 2:1-12).
The one condition for forgiveness and acceptance by the Lord is genuine repentance. True repentance is threefold. First, it is a sorrow for one's sin against God, as well as against others; second, it is a turning to the Lord, asking His forgiveness for all sins; and third, it is forsaking sin to live a life pleasing to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached the prophetic meaning of Joel's words, saying: Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21). He concluded his message by saying: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off (2:38-39). We are among those that are afar off.
The prophet Joel also foretold of the final day of the Lord that is yet to take place: Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come (Joel 1:15). It will bring to a close the miserable rule of sinful mankind and finally usher in the glorious reign of Jesus Christ, the righteous King of Peace. Jesus foretold there will come a time soon when all the tribes of the earth . . . shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).
As the One who said: I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh (people) (Joel 2:28) — fulfilled in part on the Day of Pentecost and still being fulfilled today (Acts 2:16-18).
1:12 languisheth =b> wastes away, dies; 1:16 meat =b> food; 1:17 garners =b> storehouses; 2:6 gather blackness =b> turn pale with terror.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Country: Israel (6.1 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Hebrew and Arabic • Witnessing to Jews about Christ the Messiah is actively discouraged • 80.2% Jewish (mostly secular); 14.6% Muslim (largely Sunni); 2.1% Christian; 1.6% Druze; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for your nation and friends in prayer with fasting and a self-sacrificing spirit (Esther 4:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: Micah 5:2