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June 13th - Joel in Judah

Joel in Judah

(Joel 1 – 3)


The Prophet Joel

By Michaelangelo Buonarroti

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The ancient Hebrew prophet Joel, son of Pethuel, called the people of Judah to repentance and renewed faith in the one true God. Joel foretold of a plague of locusts, which would swarm through the nation to destroy crops and livestock. Joel also spoke of spiritual and martial invasions to sweep through the country.


“Declare a holy fast;
call a sacred assembly.
Summon the elders
and all who live in the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.

Alas for that day!
For the day of the Lord is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.”

(Joel 1:14-15, NIV)


Even as he warned of disasters and divine discipline, the prophet Joel also echoed the everlasting truth of God’s mercy and grace for those who seek Him wholeheartedly.


“That is why the Lord says,
‘Turn to Me now, while there is time.
Give Me your hearts.

Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead.’

Return to the Lord your God,
for He is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish.
Who knows? Perhaps He will give you a reprieve,
sending you a blessing instead of this curse.
Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine
to the Lord your God as before.”

(Joel 2:12-14, NIV, emphasis added)


How great and gracious is our God, who desires our devotion more than our duties and our souls more than our sacrifices. Can you hear Him calling even now?


Foretelling Final Times


Of course the most famous portion of Joel’s prophecy is found in the end of the second chapter. This passage, long a Pentecostal favorite, offers a promise to all who wait upon the Lord for His coming in glory.


“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.
And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”

(Joel 2:28-32, NKJV)


The New Testament believers shared a favorite Aramaic word, “Maranatha. Translated literally, it means “Come, our Lord.” In modern terms, we might put it this way, “Bring it on Lord. We welcome You.”


Maranatha!


We eagerly await the coming King, who was and is and evermore will be the Lord of glory. May He prepare us fully for His arrival, as we place our hearts in His holy hands.


A Daring Dozen: The Minor Prophets of the Old Testament


Joel has been counted among a dozen prophets of Old Testament Israel, whose writings comprise the books of the minor prophets. Although these prophets’ messages were of major importance to the people of God, the lengths of their contents have caused them to be labeled as minor prophets.


How many of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament do you know? Can you find all of them in this word-search puzzle?


X

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AMOS

HABAKKUK

HAGGAI

HOSEA

JOEL

JONAH

MALACHI

MICAH

NAHUM

OBADIAH

ZECHARIAH

ZEPHANIAH


Will you pray with me?


King of Kings,

How we long to see You,

Face to face.

Living in a fallen world,

And facing tough times,

We desire You

More than ever.

Teach us to seek You

In easy times and hard ones,

In feasting and in famine,

In trials and in triumphs.

We seek You,

As You have promised to be found by us.

May You be found

In our own hearts.

We welcome You.

Amen.


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