- Joel 1-3
Around the time that Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah, took over the throne after Ahaziah was killed, GOD sends the prophet Joel with a message for Judah. These events occur about 835 years before Jesus is born. A recent swarm of locusts have infested the land and consumed their food, leaving the situation very sad and depressing in the land. GOD uses this opportunity to send a message of warning to Judah because of their wickedness and idolatry.
GOD's message is that if they do not repent and return to Him wholeheartedly, then He will send an army unlike any other to punish them for their sins. GOD tells them to wake up from their drunkenness and put on sackcloth and mourn before the altar of the LORD. Declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly, and summon all who live in the land to the temple and cry out to GOD for forgiveness.
Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
(Joel 1:15 NKJV)
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; 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, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations. 3 A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. 5 With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. 6 Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. 7 They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. 8 They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down.
9 They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. 10 The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. 11 The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?
(Joel 2:1-11 NKJV)
Despite Judah's great wickedness, GOD stands ready to forgive them.
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."
(Joel 2:12 NIV)
GOD has prophesied that you and I have a date with judgment as well.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment...
(Heb. 9:27 NKJV)
We need to live prepared to die because life is so uncertain. Every day people—even children—have unexpected situations occur where they lose their life. Live prepared. If you're living in sin, repent. GOD stands ready to forgive you, no matter how wicked you have been.