Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012 … The Day of the LORD Comes

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 255

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Joel, Chapters 1-3 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Joel 1-6; 14-15; 19-20 : [NLT] … 1 The LORD gave this message to Joel son of Pethuel. … 2 Hear this, you leaders of the people! Everyone listen! In all your history, has anything like this ever happened before? 3 Tell your children about it in the years to come. Pass the awful story down from generation to generation. 4 After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops, the swarming locusts took what was left! After them came the hopping locusts, and then the stripping locusts, too! … 5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! All the grapes are ruined, and all your new wine is gone! 6 A vast army of locusts has invaded my land. It is a terrible army, too numerous to count! Its teeth are as sharp as the teeth of lions! … 
14 Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people into the Temple of the LORD your God, and cry out to him there. 15 The day of the LORD is on the way, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be! … 
19 LORD, help us! The fire has consumed the pastures and burned up all the trees. 20 Even the wild animals cry out to you because they have no water to drink. The streams have dried up, and fire has consumed the pastures. 
Highlight Passage: Joel 2: 1-2; 10-13; 21; 25; 28-29 : [NLT] … 1 Blow the trumpet in Jerusalem! Sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the LORD is upon us. 2 It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a mighty army appears! How great and powerful they are! The likes of them have not been seen before and never will be seen again. … 
10 The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. 11 The LORD leads them with a shout! This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can endure it? 12 That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you. … 
21 Don’t be afraid, my people! Be glad now and rejoice because the LORD has done great things. … 25 The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts, the cutting locusts, the swarming locusts, and the hopping locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. … 
28 “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. 29 In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike. 
Highlight Passage: Joel 3: 1-3; 14-16; 20-21 : [NLT] … 1 “At that time, when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem,” says the LORD, 2 “I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, for scattering my inheritance among the nations, and for dividing up my land. 3 They [i.e., the enemies of Judah] cast lots to decide which of my people would be their slaves. They traded young boys for prostitutes and little girls for enough wine to get drunk. … 
14 Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. It is there that the day of the LORD will soon arrive. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine. 16 The LORD’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the earth and heavens will begin to shake. But to his people of Israel, the LORD will be a welcoming refuge and a strong fortress. … 
20 “But Judah [i.e., referring to all of God’s faithful] will remain forever, and Jerusalem will endure through all future generations. 21 I will pardon my people’s crimes, which I have not yet pardoned; and I, the LORD, will make my home in Jerusalem [i.e., the “New Jerusalem”] with my people.” 

My Journal for Today: Another “big gulp” from the fire hydrant of God’s truth today, being assigned – in my Chronological Reading of the Bible – to take in, study, and meditate upon the entire three chapters in the book of Joel. And wow! The timing and so-called coincidence (no such thing!) of this being on “9-11” does not escape my attention.

Where were you when the twin towers fell? What were your emotions that day? Seeing the devastation of those falling buildings, which we Americans had built as a symbol of our man-made glory, did you, like I did, have at least some sense that God was sending a message to all of His children that day?

Well, on this day, ELEVEN years after 9-11-01, being assigned to study the message Joel gave to Judah doesn’t escape my attention with regard to God speaking through a Prophet over 800 years before Christ about how devastation, over which God has total control, can speak to the hearts of His chosen children. And I’m not going to dwell at length through my feeble attempts to bring a message which can be any more enlightening than the message of our need for repentance which Joel brought from God to Judah. Joel’s word from God spoke then and speaks now to all who repent and hold on to the hope of Messiah, Who will come to judge all mankind, … whenever He comes in “the day of the LORD,” as Joel wrote about .

Joel wrote of a time of devastation, using the word picture of a scourge of locusts, which God sent to wake up the people to their need for repentance. Do you remember how the churches filled up with fearful souls, believers and non-believers, after 9-11? But just like the short-lived repentance in Joel’s time amongst the people of Judah, within a year after 9-11, people were back to their self-directed and self-controlling ways. Unfortunately, we, like the Jews in Judah in Joel’s times, just can’t hold on the reality of our need for God and for His redeeming grace.

So, … on this anniversary of 9-11, I’m going to charge you to at least read through and meditate upon the highlighted verses from the book of Joel which I’ve copied for any reader above, letting your memories of 9-11-01 and God’s message of our need for faithful repentance from Joel soak into our consciousness and become a wake-up call, a sounding of the shofar, to call us to arms and to do battle in our times to carry God’s message of repentance, restoration, and renewal in Christ to the peoples who just can’t seem to see or hear it.

 If we, as did Joel, sound the alarm, through living as saved Christians and sharing the Gospel, at least we will have done what Joel did or Ezekiel did or Isaiah did, or others of the Prophets, in their times. If others see the Gospel being lived in our lives or hear it being preached through our testimonies and witness (as we’re charged to do in Acts 1: 8 or Matt. 28: 19-20) at least we’ll have done all we can do in these times in which the locusts have eaten. And perhaps many, whom God calls through our witness, will experience the hope-filled message of Joel 2: 25 that the Lord will restore what the locusts have eaten, and He will save us from our own destruction through our faithful repentance.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, Lord, I sound the alarm … JESUS SAVES! Amen

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