Read Joel 2:1-11
The locust theme continues as Joel describes for us in more detail the path of destruction and what the “day of the LORD” will look like. This fearsome day will involve a terrible invasion. No wonder he ended our last reading by saying it was horrible! Today’s reading ends in similar fashion. “The day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?”
The locusts from our last reading are now personified into an army with strict marching orders. We get a clue to the locust’s target when Joel tells us Jerusalem is involved. From spending time reflecting on prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, we know Jerusalem’s fate is precarious.
“Raise the alarm” suggests the horn blasting like an ancient air raid siren alerting people to the promised divine judgment. The “day of the LORD” Joel was talking about was likely the pending doom on Jerusalem. The day of the LORD we look forward to is when Jesus wins the final victory over evil. In the meantime, that battle rages on. What sort of wake-up call do you need to be prepared?
There is some interesting imagery in this reading. We can’t help but think of the plague of locusts God used in Exodus 10 when he was using Moses as his spokesperson to free his people from Pharaoh’s bondage. Seeing the reference to fire also calls to mind the wall of fire that led the wanderers in the wilderness, and the tongues of fire that danced over the disciples’ heads as the Holy Spirit baptized them on Pentecost! These are all fantastic appearances of God to his followers.
What did you think when you read this line describing the attacking army? “This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders.” Do you think those hearing Joel’s words would understand that the destruction Joel is telling of will happen at the direction of God? It’s even hard for us today to think like that and realize God allows and orchestrates anything that moves us closer to him.
We all need God whether we are under attack or not. We may not even realize the evil one is poised to grab our attention. Anytime we slip down the slippery slope of worry, anger, jealousy, fear, or dread (to name a few), we can be sure that the evil one has his grip on us. What can we do to stop it? Prayer is our remedy.
Freedom and deliverance are available in the name of Jesus. He will lift you up and out of the pit. You can be empowered and ready to claim the victory and not fall for the devil’s web of deceit. Don’t be bound by fear, infirmity, pride, or unforgiveness. Look to Jesus and darkness will flee.
Prophets have been declaring for centuries the “day of the LORD” is near. God is waiting for his perfect time. Are you drawing closer so that you’ll have a good view of the victory?
Let’s pray … Lord, may the Holy Spirit renew my spirit to stand strong and be ready for the day of the LORD. I want to claim the freedom from evil you have made available to me. Keep me safe from attacks of the evil one as I wait for your return. In Jesus’ name. Amen.