Morning Musing: Joel 3:10

“Beat your plows into swords and your pruning knives into spears. Let even the weakling say, ‘I am a warrior.’” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things critics of the Scriptures like to do is find apparent contradictions and use them to argue against their reliability. This is one of those places. This verse is set against Isaiah 2:4 where the prophet talks about just the opposite: beating swords into plowshares. Is this really a contradiction of that? What are we supposed to do with places like this?

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Joel 3:3

“They cast lots for my people; they bartered a boy for a prostitute and sold a girl for wine to drink.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

The God revealed in the pages of the Scriptures is a God of justice. Justice is one of a small group of characteristics that are primary for Him. That is, they are the qualities from which His various other character traits can be derived. When it comes to the judgment announced in the prophets, most often they are connected to violations of one of these primary characteristics. This is a perfect example. And when it comes to matters of justice involving children, God takes these particularly seriously.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Joel 2:27

“You will know that I am present in Israel and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. My people will never again be put to shame.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

My wife and I used to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition every single time it was on. We loved that show. The premise was that in each episode a different family got home makeover that involved completely tearing down their old one and building an entirely new one in its place. It was always such tearjerker of a show too. The producers were generally really good about picking families who were particularly deserving of the gift they received. The homes themselves were always amazing and I rarely finished watching an episode without thinking to myself at least once: Why couldn’t it be me getting that?

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Joel 2:1-2, 11

“Blow the horn in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the residents of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; in fact, it is near — a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and total darkness, like the dawn spreading over the mountains; a great and strong people appears, such as never existed in ages past and never will again in all the generations to come…The Lord makes his voice heard in the presence of his army. His camp is very large; those who carry out his command are powerful. Indeed, the day of the Lord is terrible and dreadful — who can endure it?” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had a day whose coming you dreaded? A few years ago I got a speeding ticket—the only one I’ve ever gotten and even it was accidental because I missed a sign in a stretch of road where the limit kept changing from 55 to 45 and back. And, like any ticket, mine came with a court date. Boy, did I not want that day to come. The walk of shame to the judge’s bench to learn the punishment for my crime was not something I was looking forward to experiencing. What Joel says here suggests that the day of the Lord is one whose coming should fill us with a similar sense of dread…only worse. Why?

Continue reading “Morning Musing: Joel 2:1-2, 11”

Morning Musing: Joel 1:13-14

“Dress in sackcloth and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar. Come and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, because grain and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God. Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy? That’s a bit of a tough question to answer. Trying to talk to someone who has just experienced something really hard can be painfully awkward. Think about how you feel when you get to the front of a funeral visitation line. There might be more uncomfortable moments in life than that, but it’s definitely on the top ten list. Let me change the question just a bit on you: What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy, but you’re pretty sure it was their own fault?

Read the rest…