Sound the Warning

Joel 2

Saturday, November 5, 2022

This week I saw some internet footage taken of a tornado. At first, an individual was videoing a stormy sky, perhaps anticipating what was to come. In a horrifying moment the distinctive funnel cloud appeared in the storm. Then you could hear the siren go off, blasting out a warning. Everyone in the screen view began heading inside or getting in cars to speed away. For some reason, the person making the video, just kept it rolling.  Obviously, he was in danger, so I was surprised that the person kept filming.

This reminds me of our passage today. Joel 2 announces that the day of the LORD is coming. “Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble.” This is a horrifying warning of a powerful force of desolation. No one could stand against it. So what is the answer?
Return to the LORD with all your heart.

Realize how far we may have wandered. Show your repentance by fasting, weeping and mourning. Let your heart be broken because we have sinned against Him.  We are reminded that He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and He often shows us mercy. Instead of getting what we deserve, He may forgive and leave a blessing behind.

We see our LORD here as wanting to bless His people, wanting to protect, wanting to remove fear and replace it with love. Wanting to dwell among his people. Let’s call on the name of the LORD and open our hearts wide to receive Him so we will be delivered.

-Rebecca Dauksas

Reflection Questions

  1. Read Joel’s description of the Day of the Lord. How do you envision the Day of the Lord (what other Scriptures might be helpful) and how would you describe it to someone who has never heard of it before?
  2. How does Joel describe God?
  3. What does God desire for you today? What does God desire from you today? What does God desire for you for eternity?

Return to the Lord

Lamentations 3:37 – 5:22

Lamentations 3 40 NIV sgl

The second half of the book of Lamentations is even more depressing than the first half.  Jeremiah was overwhelmed with grief because he had seen horrible things.  Here are two vivid examples.  Lamentations 4:4 says, “Because of thirst the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them.”  And Lamentations 4:10 says, “With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed.”


These are disturbing images.  But Jeremiah reminds us why these troubles came on “God’s people”.  Lamentations 3:39-40 says, “Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?  Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”


I’ve heard a quote that goes something like this, “You should learn from other’s mistakes, because you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”  In this case, we should learn from Judah’s mistakes so we can live long enough to make other mistakes.


The Bible tells us repeatedly that we have a choice.  We can follow God and receive a blessing, or fight against God and receive a curse.  I love the way Moses put it in Deuteronomy 30:15-16, “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.”


When we read passages like those in Lamentations, we need to think about why they were included in scripture, and how they may apply to us today.  I think one reason these are there is to serve as a warning to those who follow – and in our case, for us.


God isn’t a vengeful God, just waiting for people to step out of line so he can slap them; He’s a loving God who wants a relationship with each of us.  But God can’t leave the guilty unpunished.


Ezekiel 33:11 says, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”


God warned his people, Israel, repeatedly to return to Him, but they ignored Him and paid the price.  He warns us today through His word – the Bible.  How will you respond?


Steve Mattison


Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to here – Lamentations 3:37-5:22

Tomorrow we begin the book of Ezekiel (chapters 1-4) as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

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