God Has Something to Say to You
God Has Something to Say to You about When He is Trying to Say Something to You!
The crisis of religion, as it relates to the true and living God, is in which direction it will travel –
- A deepening relationship
- a rigid ritualism
Ritualism is one manifestation of the fruit of deception (Hos. 10:13)- relying on one’s own strength, and ritualism among “God’s people” was going full blast at the time of Joel (1:5-12)!
If you repeatedly ignore God’s word, flaunt your sin, keep giving God your left-over rituals, and credit your blessings to your own strength or some other “god”, you may find yourself at the business end of God’s “strange work” (cf. Is. 28:21), break outs of his anger (Lev. 10:2; Num. 11:1) in order to get your attention.
God used a plague of locusts to gobble up what Israel was convinced was the evidence of their blessed lives – fertile crops! God declared a Day of the Lord judgment on Israel (1:15; 2:1, 11)
Presuming on the grace of God, while shamelessly sinning, will earn you a date with God’s judgment – a whole nation / community will have to endure a “Day of the Lord” – a godless world will face THE DAY of THE LORD
A Date with God at Jehoshaphat!
God’s “strange work” (Lev. 10:2; Num. 11:1; Is. 28:21)
Yahweh is at Holy War! – against unholiness.
- day of judgment designed to drive people to repentance (many) (2:31-32)
- day of vindication of final restoration (one) (3:12, 17, 19)
Three things God wants to say to you about going through the motions – you can learn the easy way or the hard way …
1. God is completely sovereign over nature (2:11, 20)
- Nature is not just a set of laws nor patterns independent of the Lord’s control
- Our life is a house of cards if we are building it in our own strength
- All of creation is engaged in the drama of God’s redemption (1:17, 18; cf. Rom 8:19f)
2. God is jealous for exclusive and authentic worship (2:12, 18, 27; 3:2) – and he will go to every extreme to secure it.
- God will even place the ministry in jeopardy to elevate its neglect and importance
- God’s people and worship are indivisibly connected – the blessings in your life are directly proportionate to the health of the ministry.
- Whatever you are allowing in your life, that is obstructing your complete fidelity and absolute worship of God, must go.
3. God is compassionate in forgiveness (2:12f).
Ground zero of our hope!
- God will not change; you have to – a full turn-around
- God is open to relenting because he prefers compassion over judgment – his character is compassion ; his recourse is judgment
- God cannot and therefore won’t dwell among dirty people
- Authentic, whole-hearted repentance makes way for an outpouring of the Spirit in Salvation and restored blessings through regained fellowship
- Assemble at the place of corporate worship (1:14)
- Trade ritual for relationship (2:13)
- Respond to the call-outs of faithful leaders (2:15)
- Throw yourself at the mercy of God and seek messages of salvation (2:17)
- Wait for the promised blessings to follow genuine repentance (2:18f)
And EVERYONE who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21, 39; Rom 10:13)