As a Christ follower, Christian, believer…I believe everything in the Bible. I believe and trust in God’s promises, therefore I also believe and heed His warnings. There are those around us, family, friends, co-workers, people who sit next to us in church, who don’t fully accept what is written in the Bible. It’s so odd to me that there are those you profess to not be Christian but they believe there is a God and I’ve even met those who know about certain parts in the Bible and believe to be true. I find that odd, yet interesting. I recall, I was one in that camp at one time. I acknowledged the existence of God and had skimmed the pages of a Bible more than a few times, but I wasn’t fully engaged, fully committed, I had not surrendered all.
And then there are those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ, but don’t know much about the Bible, or they don’t think it is relevant to today. However, most people that I communicate with say they believe what the Bible says is true, relevant, God’s instructions for those who know Him and put their faith in His Son, Christ Jesus.
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand- ~Joel 2:1
I read, re-read and went back and read Joel 2. Finally, the third reading it dawned on me. Although we might never audibly hear the blow of a trumpet, or the sound of an alarm, we all should be able to visibly see and know the day of the Lord will come. It’s inevitable, we are told this in the Bible. Is it close at hand? I don’t know, some speculate it is. But more to the point, should we assume it’s not? Will we see a an army of Locusts? as in real bugs? The Bible says the word came to Joel from God. But he was talking back then, are we to think he was talking to the people in terminology that they would relate too in that day? If Joel was speaking to us today, what words and phrases would he use to make us understand and heed God’s warning?
Joel 2:10 warns; “Before the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” Now I’m not a biblical scholar. I have to read the same verse several times in order to understand it’s meaning and even then I fall short most times. But… you know, every time an earthquake occurs, I stop and think about God’s warnings.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not speculating that the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma and the recent earthquake in Turkey are the precursor to an army of locusts appearing and covering the entire earth. But!….I also don’t presume to think that we should wait until the sun and moon are darkened to know the day of the Lord will come.
I look at every natural disaster and think long and hard about my faith. In an instant my heart tells me that I have nothing to fear for God is sovereign and He is in complete control over everything. But I do mourn for those who do not know that.
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” ~ Joel 2:12
I am reassured over and over in the pages of the Bible that God is slow to anger abounding in love. He is a God of second chances. He implores us to return to Him with all our heart, in complete surrender.
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. ~ Joel 2:13
He wants our heart to be empty for Him to fill, our faith to be fueled by His love, our surrender to be complete so He can restore our soul and allow Him to be our Father. It’s nothing we can do physically with our hands, with our money or our mind. It’s all about turning inwardly to Him for everything. Will God relent from sending calamity?
Reading further Joel tells us in 2:31 that; “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the Lord.” but in 2:32 he goes on to reassure us; “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
My prayer for all today is that none of us put off any longer. If you’ve already given your life over to Christ Jesus, praise God for your decision, but you and I have been told to “go out and make disciples” we must not grow comfortable in our faith and keep it to ourselves. If you’ve not repented and called out to God for His forgiveness and accepted His gift of salvation, don’t assume you have time. Don’t be fooled by others who tell you that there isn’t a God and that the Bible is not truthful. I pray for the scales to fall from you eyes and your heart to be softened today, I pray that you reach out and take what only God’s grace can give you…freedom, peace, shelter and eternal life with Him.