June 8, Reading 2 – Joel 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Judgment and blessing – these are corollaries, not opposites. This chapter is rich in metaphor and memorable picture language. The fountain prophecy comes to its fulfilment with Jesus, the water of life. (John 14:14, Revelation 21:6,22:1,17)

SJA Notes

* Gracious Lord, please open our eyes today to this portion of Your word. Teach us Lord, and show us Jesus.

“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgement with them there, …”

It is an important truth to wrestle with, that we cannot all “just be friends”.

God is JUDGE. And He judges SIN.

There are people, “Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!” – Many who will be judged unworthy and sent to hell. That eternal place of fire and pain and darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But too, here on earth, we cannot all get along, one world living in harmony. That is folly. There will always be snakes and wolves who deceive and rend and tear.

Those who (v3) cast lots for God’s people, trading a boy for a prostitute, selling a girl for wine.

While we have a message of TRUE HOPE and LIFE and LOVE, our message too must contain the truth of the broad road, the wide gate. We must preach to the world of the utter brokenness of humanity. Our sin.

V16-17, “The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.”

* Fearsome God, thank You that in Jesus we can escape Your just and holy wrath, the penalty for our rebellion, our absolute rejection of You and Your law.

Thank You that we have Your message of hope, true love and eternal life!

And Lord, please watch over us, please protect us from the wolves that are amongst us, in and amongst both Your people and in the world around us.

We trust in You God Almighty. You are our refuge and strength!

Amen.

June 7, Reading 2 – Joel 2

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Chapter 2 is a vivid picture of being in a locust swarm and of its effect on the land. Verses 13,14 call for national heart repentance not national ritual or ceremony. Consider the promise of verse 25. Peter tells us in Acts 2:16-21 that verses 28-32 were fulfilled at Pentecost.

SJA Notes

* Dear Lord, please open our eyes to Your word today. Show us what we need to see.

Here is a clear picture of God’s CREATION (instead of world) VIEW.

The day of the Lord is great and very awesome – Who can endure it?

Who will survive that final day, judgement?

Joel tells us, “Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;”

This is part of our story to tell the nations!

That there is a war on. That Jesus will not go quietly into the night. That there is an end, a judgement, when all mankind will be weighed before the JUST and HOLY God.

But there is hope. A sure and steady hope.

“Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him,”

God did this! In Jesus, we have BLESSING.

And in turn, Jesus gave us another – The Holy Spirit!

This is our God. He has given Himself for His people, so that they can escape His wrath.

* Gracious Father, thank You for leaving a blessing behind. Thank You for Jesus, and thank You that He gave us Your Holy Spirit, our helper in this troublesome life, our companion on this narrow way.

Thank You that we can call You Father.

Please wash us this day of the sin and darkness that falls on us like dust as we walk.

Amen.

June 6, Reading 2 – Joel 1

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Joel: The Lord is God! Joel wrote about 790BC in the Kingdom of Judah, with his contemporary Amos in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The terrible calamity of a locust plague had befallen Palestine. Obadiah sees natural disasters as a potent reminder of sin’s cosmic consequences and hence an occasion for repentance – returning to God.

SJA Notes

* Father God, please open our eyes to the message of Joel today as we read this passage.

Israel has been decimated, their produce eaten by destroying, hopping, swarming and cutting locusts.

And Joel calls out those who drink wine, the farmers, and in v13 Joel exhorts the church leaders: “Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar.”

Joel is calling Israel to repentance.

“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.”

AND CRY OUT TO THE LORD.

This is a word for us.

* To You, O LORD, we call. Please sink us in self, and lift You up. Please minimise us and magnify Yourself in us.

We come before You today, humble and contrite – And if not, please make us so.

Forgive us Father for our sin.

This we pray.

Amen.