References about Joel do not tell us very much about him, his life in Judah nor about any exact dates. We can probably conclude that he did not live during a prosperous time because he pointed to the destruction done by locust to corn, wine and figs (Joel 1:4-20). Does this story remind us of a time of any great loss? What did Joel call upon the people of Judah to do? All that nature entails and all that nations emphasize as God’s sovereign help make up the work of His hands! The word of God came to Joel at the right time. With so much devastation, he called upon them to fast,to repent and by all means to pray unceasingly!
Can we in our time imagine a locust plague? Even today, do we always recognize God’s punishment on sins we commit? After a devastating locust swarm invaded the nation of Judah, Joel indicated that this natural disaster is nothing compared to the coming great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:11)! God knows best and gives all of us time to repent. Obedience to Him will bring both physical and spiritual renewal. God tells us He will pour out His spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28).Joel, a minor prophet, explained a locust plague that pictured God’s judgment on His sinful people. Are our lives sometimes filled with more challenges than we care to remember or explain?
Desperation filled the people of Joel’s time and the prophet called for repentance from the people of Judah. Then he pictured the day of the Lord as his people are attacked and the vision in which all nations will be judged. There is hope because Joel saw the restoration of God’s people and he encouraged complete trust in God as our refuge. Whether disaster or blessing that confronts us, do we believe that God remains on His throne and rules our lives? Is He always our stronghold? With God’s help, let us remember how Joel advised us to pray for there are endless hurdles ahead. We are to think that we are never alone. God is always with us and hears all our prayers.
We must continue to trust God to help us in all of our troubles. All of our frustrations must be turned over to God to find healing and eventually hope that others will grasp this same spirit of obedience to God along with complete trust in Him. No challenge is too great for any of us as we depend on our relationship with God!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.