Thursday, October 8, 2009

PROPHET JOEL



Every time Prophet Joel thought of King Jehoram, he would fume. Disgusted with Jehoram’s “Look-North Policy” towards evil Ahab, his father in law, and his mindless murders of his own siblings, Joel looked up to the heavens for answers. He knew that the proliferation of evil would be catastrophic to Judah and Jerusalem.


Meanwhile, God had already prepared armies from the Philistines and the Arabs for Judah’s eventual judgment. The hated Jehoram was utterly defeated, goods plundered and family enslaved. To make judgment complete, God afflicted the king with an incurable disease and he died in great pain. As usual, to provide the continuation of the Davidic kingdom, God preserved Ahaziah, who miraculously escaped unharmed by the raiding conquerors.


Prophet Joel remembered of how the Spirit of God had come upon a Levite and he had caused great victory for King Jehoshaphat. He smiled as he stood in awe of God’s power!


And then the vision came. In the vision, he saw a great multitude of God’s people being empowered and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Although this was difficult time for Judah and Jerusalem, there would come a time of great works being wrought by God’s Spirit. It was all possible as the prophet’s mind flashed back to Moses’ days when the great deliverer himself said, “I wish that all Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”


“The time will come where greater works shall be done for Yahweh’s glory,” Joel spoke to himself and grinned.


The people who suffered much under Jehoram’s chaotic rule were very much encouraged. The prophet summoned them to repent as their God would once more restore Jerusalem for his glory. From ministers of the temple to the farmers, young and old, rich and poor, they needed to put on sackcloth and gather a fast.


The prophet declared, “Yahweh says, ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full. Never again will my people be shamed’” The drought caused by swarming locusts would be replenished. The suffering would turn to celebration of harvest! Oil, wine and grain would overflow to satisfaction for all!


In Joel’s mind, the nations that attacked Judah were like a drop in the ocean to God. Which nation could be stronger than the Creator of the Universe? Who could upstage the Ruler of the Earth? They would be brought down and destroyed with one strike! To the prophet, the future of Jerusalem was very much secure under the mighty hands of God. God fought battles for righteous kings before and He would continue to fight for them. And the people must understand that too.


Joel’s God-given vision in which he prophesied to the people also meant for distant future, something the prophet himself would not enjoy seeing. He spoke of the Day of the Lord that would set an unprecedented time of restoration for Jerusalem. And God would rule from Mount Zion, forever. The prophet put it more animatedly, “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem!” The Lion of Judah prophesy of old would be fulfilled!


What would Prophet Joel say to us if he were still alive today?


1. God is a God of second chances.
2. The spoken Word of God will come to pass no matter how long it takes.
3. No nations will ever stand against the Might of God.
4. Jerusalem will be the centre of the reign of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the prophesied Lion of Judah.
5. Don’t give up. God will fight the battle for you.


Note: The dating of Joel has been much debated. I am taking an older date after some research and reading of the Word. My position may not necessarily be your position and that’s perfectly alright.


( I have taken the story of Jehoram from 2 Chron. 21)


2 comments:

  1. And this is our encouragement now, as we see havoc all around, that the Lord is moving us even in this to all that lies ahead.

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  2. Anne, it is so true. God is our refuge and stronghold and always will be!

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