At the Bible study on Thursday (our last midweek meeting in August), we looked at Joel 1 & 2. There, we see how Joel paints a vivid picture of desperation and destruction (in part from the famine caused by the locust invasion, but also from drought and loss of crops and animals) and urges God’s people to call on Him in repentance. There is nothing quite like crisis for concentrating our minds, but even so, often we try to ‘fix’ crises ourselves instead of coming to God humbly and asking for His help.
The ‘day of the Lord’ is a theme whch runs throughout the Old Testament, a day of God’s action and intervention in our history. Often, we can cry out to God to come and intervene, but we need to be sure that our lives are right with Him, for this can be a terrible occurrence, a day of judgment and punishment. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that when God speaks to us in this way, it means there is still the chance to repent – and if there is the chance to repent, then there is the chance that God will relent. A key passage is Joel 2:13-14:
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. (Joel 2:13-14)