Joel 1:19-20 (New Living Translation)
LORD, help us!
The fire has consumed the wilderness pastures, and flames have burned up all the trees. Even the wild animals cry out to you because the streams have dried up, and fire has consumed the wilderness pastures.
The book of Joel (11 minutes to listen to here https://goo.gl/EkH5Qs), in Chapter 1 opens with a record of a frightening locust invasion that devastated Judah. Four kinds of locusts (cutting, swarming, hopping and stripping locusts) had passed through the land and left the people and their animals starving to death.
Joel notes that in all their history Judah had never experienced such a calamity. He starts Chapter 2 by telling the people that even more terrifying devastation is coming, and it is being brought on them by God as judgement for the injustices and wickedness of the people. The nation’s troubles were as a result of the nation’s evil ways.
However, in the narratives of devastation in Chapters 1 and 2, Joel makes it known that if the people collectively cry out to God for help, for deliverance, in sincere repentance of heart, with prayers and fasting, led by their religious leaders, God will listen, roll back the devastation and fully restore the nation to peace and prosperity.
Today, nations, great and small, are unstable and failing; we see starvation, sufferings, death. Joel shows us how Judah suffered when godlessness and selfishness kicked out godliness, righteousness, and fairness. Joel also teach us that God is ready to turn things around when we cry to him for help.
In these times of troubles, lets draw even closer to God individually and collectively; lets cry out everyday for our nations, with a repentant heart “Lord, help us!”.
Image: Penitent sinner rend your heart – Joel 2:13 (Source: balandin.net)