Saturday, September 13, 2008

Return to Me!

September 13: Joel 1-3

1 Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been before,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.

10 The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?
Joel 2:1-2 & 10-14

Return to Me

As I read through the book of Joel for today's reading, I was struck with the appropriateness of this book to our own day. It seems as though God becomes smaller and smaller in our culture. He has already been replaced as the Creator, so it is not a huge step beyond that to believe that not only does He not have any effect on our lives, but we need not have any fear of retribution from Him. Because He is viewed to be powerless, then he must be powerless!

That is not so very unlike the Jewish nation in the time in which Joel lived. It is in this context that he cries out, "Blow the trumpet, sound the alarm, let everyone tremble because the day of the Lord is at hand."

He ends Joel 2:7 with the words, For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it?

Judgment was right upon their doorsteps; they were surrounded by a huge multitude of armies ready to smother their very existence. Where was God now? He never left them!

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love
.


Though we are hardly aware of the danger, the armies of Satan are right at our doorstep. Our unbelief does not change anything; the war between God and Satan for our souls rages on.

I have always said, "Where there is life, there is hope." Do you have loved ones who refuse to hear the Gospel message? Never cease to pray for them. Our God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

What about us? Remember, Christianity is a heart religion; God cries out for the love and devotion of our heart, as He says, Return to me with all your heart. What a good thing to ponder as you go about the duties of this day.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

No comments: