Sept. 21, 2009
Read Joel 1
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Joel's message: destruction (1:15). The sun and moon grow dark (2:2,9-10). Turn give me your heart (2:12-13). Worship through prayers of intercession and repentance (2:17); by rejoicing (2:23); be saved (2:32); dwell with God (3:17).
In the midst of a national economic disaster caused by drought, famine, and hordes of locusts, The Word of the Lord came to Joel. . . . Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain (1:1; 2:1). The trumpet was often used to call the people together. However, the trumpet was also used as an alarm to warn of an attack (Num. 10:1-9). In this instance, it is used to alarm the people to the crisis that is upon them because of their sinfulness.
Joel's message was a call for the soul-searching repentance which leads to submission to the Lord. True repentance is two-fold — sorrow for sin against God, as well as others, and forsaking all sin to live for the Savior as Lord of our lives.
It was the desire to submit to the Lord that led about 120 people to assemble in an upper room on the Day of Pentecost.
The Apostle Paul also illustrated our great need to be controlled by the Holy Spirit when he wrote: Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). This warning against the evils of drinking wine (all alcoholic beverages) may seem out of place until we recognize that Paul is illustrating how all alcoholic beverages do have the power to control the human body and mind.
There are no exceptions and it is unmistakably clear: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. . . . Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder (poisonous snake) (Prov. 20:1; 23:31-32). (Satan seeks to destroy you.)
In contrast, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, He lovingly provides wisdom to guide our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions.
Be not deceived: neither . . . adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind . . . nor drunkards . . . shall inherit the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10).
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy (Prov. 28:13).
Thought for Today:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).
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 = withers away; 1:16 meat = food; 1:17 garners = storehouses, granaries; 2:6 gather blackness = turn pale with terror.
Pray for Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Country: Cuba (11.2 million) on the northern rim of the Caribbean • Major language: Spanish • Strict government surveillance of all true Christian activities • 40% Catholic; 10% Protestant; 2-10% Santeria; 1% Other; 40% None • Prayer Suggestion: Magnify the Lord; exalt His Name (Ps. 34:3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 12:50