Ashdod and Egypt (the Philistines and the Egyptians) were the two witnesses to God’s dealing with His people. Judgment is not a light matter for God. Nature itself is here the agent of His judgment. Nature rebels against man as man rebels against God. This is one terrible consequence of Adam’s sin – we cast off God’s authority over our lives, we cast off His providential care. We must live in a very broken world!
* Gracious Lord, please show us today what You want us to know from Your word.
“… Yet you did not return to me,”
A damning phrase.
We’ve read through Joel, with the ravaging locust plague that demolished Israel’s economy (and more), with the intent of bringing the people to repentance.
And here the Lord gives a number of examples of how He has worked to bring His people to repentance.
If ever there was a truth-pointer to our not being robots, here it is!
The Lord God ALMIGHTY worked with His mighty hand, terrible acts, to draw His people to Him.
Blight. Mildew. Pestilence. Sword. Overthrown.
This bears much truth for us today. For those of us who love Jesus, and those (our loved ones, our colleagues, and those around us) who don’t.
“… PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD, O ISRAEL!” v12
You cannot get away from God’s sovereign will. We cannot goose-step or skip fast away, He is the hound of heaven that chases us down with relentless love.
Because it’s His LOVE that drives this chastisement. It’s His GRACE that we see writ large in turning us (His people, throughout the ages, Israel through to us now) to repentance.
Let’s be reminded that we serve the God who formed the mountains, who created the wind, who (very importantly) declares to us what are our thoughts!
The LORD, the God of hosts, is His name!
* Father God, thank You that You rescue us from our rebellion. Thank You that though our hearts are hardened, our wills stubbornly rejecting You; Despite our folly, You have called us, hounded us, brought us to the foot of the cross, saved us!
Thank You that we can look forward to meeting You on that final day because Jesus has bought us, won us back, opened our blind eyes, cleared our deaf ears – Brought us from darkness into light.
Amen and amen! What a Saviour You are!