Joel concluded his book with the magnificent and glorious reign of God in Jerusalem, with redeemed Israel living in a restored Judah, a prophesy yet to be fulfilled, to be looked forward to in hopeful joy.
This was the word from the Lord they had been longing to hear. After their sackcloth and ashes, their weeping and mourning, weakened from their fasts, and sacrifices, and prayers, they longed with every fiber of their being to hear some token of God’s love and mercy towards them.
It's not too late to restore relationships, to repair bridges, to pray for and say yes to new opportunities. God can make up for all you didn't do right before, He can more than make up for it! Knowing that God will restore what was lost, what was wasted, frees you and me to move into and with God's will now—to fulfill His purpose for us today.
Fasting can bring breakthrough in the spiritual realm that will never happen any other way. So Joel called God's people together to fast and to pray.
Think about a time when your life was invaded. Something had pushed its way in, you didn't want it, you didn't ask for it. Maybe it so devastated your life you found yourself asking, "what's left?"
After we’ve had a chance to settle in with Hosea (who is listed first, and who also came first), it would be great to see who were contemporaries, who were probably having conversations with each other, and which prophets wrote about the same theme but ended their books very differently.
This week, I'm starting a new series from the Hebrew Bible (what many refer to as the "Old Testament"). I've long been fascinated with the poetry, imagery, and intensity of the prophets, and especially intrigued with the minor prophets--maybe because the only place I ever heard teaching on all twelve books was in the Bible study I used to be a part of.