The Locusts Ravage
Joel 1:2,3 – Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.
In the first chapter of Joel, the situation is dire as an army of locusts destroy everything in sight.
“The ground mourns because the grain is destroyed. The harvest of the field has perished. The vine dries up; the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up, and gladness dries up from the children of man.
There are four things that Joel wants God’s people to do: Listen – Waken up – Mourn – Repent.
Listen! – First off, Joel wants every single person to hear the word of the Lord; no exceptions. Not only that but after hearing the word they are to pass it on to their children and then ensure that it continues to be told. We have an obligation to tell the generations what is written in God’s word and of the consequences when we don’t listen.
Waken-up! – The people have grown so used to their situation that they seem oblivious to the destruction taking place all around them. We too can easily fall into the trap of accepting social norms and not seeing the danger that lies in complacency. The world has been ravaged by evil and too often we are being carried along on its back.
Mourn! – Just like the Israelites, we need to waken up and mourn, not only the consequences of our sin, but sin itself. God’s bounty was made available to all mankind but our sin is destroying God’s beautiful world. We don’t often think of our sin on a global level but maybe we should because it would definitely bring us to our knees.
Repent! – Joel called the priests and the people 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.” This was a call to return to the Lord; it was a national repentance. We don’t have to wonder if this passage is still relevant today.
Pray for your country, pray for repentance, pray ‘Lord, let it start with me.’