God’s Word of Spiritual Renewal
Joel 2:1-17: The prophet Joel likens the swarm of locusts to an invading enemy army. He conveys the Lord’s call to the people to repent.
The Locusts as a Warning of the Day of the Lord
1Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm
on Zion, God’s sacred hill.
Tremble, people of Judah!
The day of the Lord is coming soon.
2It will be a dark and gloomy day,
a black and cloudy day.
The great army of locusts advances
like darkness spreading over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
and there never will be again.
3Like fire they eat up the plants.
In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
but behind them it is a barren desert.
Nothing escapes them.
4 They look like horses;
they run like war-horses.
5As they leap on the tops of the mountains,
they rattle like chariots;
they crackle like dry grass on fire.
They are lined up like a great army ready for battle.
6As they approach, everyone is terrified;
every face turns pale.
7They attack like warriors;
they climb the walls like soldiers.
They all keep marching straight ahead
and do not change direction
8or get in each other’s way.
They swarm through defenses,
and nothing can stop them.
9They rush against the city;
they run over the walls;
they climb up the houses
and go in through the windows like thieves.
10 The earth shakes as they advance;
the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon grow dark,
and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders commands to his army.
The troops that obey him
are many and mighty.
How terrible is the day of the Lord!
Who will survive it?
A Call to Repentance
12“But even now,” says the Lord,
“repent sincerely and return to me
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
13Let your broken heart show your sorrow;
tearing your clothes is not enough.”
Come back to the Lord your God.
He is kind and full of mercy;
he is patient and keeps his promise;
he is always ready to forgive and not punish.
14Perhaps the Lord your God will change his mind
and bless you with abundant crops.
Then you can offer him grain and wine.
15Blow the trumpet on Mount Zion;
give orders for a fast and call an assembly!
16Gather the people together;
prepare them for a sacred meeting;
bring the old people;
gather the children
and the babies too.
Even newly married couples
must leave their homes and come.
17 The priests, serving the Lord
between the altar and the entrance of the Temple,
must weep and pray:
“Have pity on your people, Lord.
Do not let other nations despise us and mock us
by saying, ‘Where is your God?’”
Today’s Key Verse: Joel 2:13b
Come back to the LORD your God. He is kind and full of mercy; he is patient and keeps his promise; he is always ready to forgive and not punish.
Joel continues his description of the devastating effects of the invasion of locusts. How does he describe the day of the LORD (verses 1-11)? What does the prophet ask the people to do (verses 12-17)? As stated in yesterday’s reading (Joel 1:14), the prophet once again calls upon the people to fast and gather together (verses 15, 16). What is the significance or importance of doing this?
Lord God, you are patient, kind, and full of mercy. Whenever I stray from your teachings, you call me to return to you. I offer you my repentant heart, trusting in your steadfast love and forgiveness. Amen.
Joel 2:18-32: The Lord restores fertility to the land.