chapter forty-five: come, lie all night in sack cloth

swarming locusts

The more Jack tries to live in the Spirit, the more he reads the Bible with an increased sense of urgency. This morning he woke at 5am after attending a late night worship service on the day. He decided to get out of bed as the last dream he had was disturbing. He could not remember the dream but he remembered seeing a bed full of people slumbering, bodies of people in fact. He could not see the faces. But he was disturbed. So he got up despite the inadequate sleep.

Then he was led to read the book of Joel (probably 835-805 BC). It was more disturbing as it was about the judgment of God and the Great and Awesome Day of the Lord. It was also comforting as it was about the grace of God too. The following are verses that made him ponder. Why? The signs are here and now in increasing intensity.

Joel 1

The Land Laid Waste

4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten. 5 Awake, you drunkards, and weep; 9 the priests mourn, who minister to the LORD.
Mourning for the Land

13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.

Joel 2

The Day of the LORD

1 For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?

A Call to Repentance

12 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

The Land Refreshed

18 Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. 21 Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done marvelous things!

God’s Spirit Poured Out

28 “ 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. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30 “ And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:

32 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.

Joel 3

God Judges the Nations

1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there. 14 For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake;”

God Blesses His People

18 And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of Acacias.

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“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12)

“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done so to stand.”

(Ephesians 6:11-13)

2009-10-12

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