Joel: The Day of the Lord and the Valley of Decision

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The Camp Fire:  The deadliest wildfire in California’s history broke out on November 8 and killed at least 85 people, injured three firemen, and destroyed 14,000 homes, more than 500 businesses and about 4,300 other buildings. 153,000 acres were scorched.  More than 1,000 firefighters fought the fire for weeks before it was contained with the help of some heavy and timely rains.  It was a devastating calamity!

On Sunday, March 3, a tornado ripped through Lee County, Alabama, destroying mobile homes, tearing up trees and claiming the lives of 23 people. 

Our world groans under the curse (Rom. 8:19-22) and we read regularly about frightening calamities that strike our country, our communities and the world.  We might wonder where the Lord is in all these calamities, and yet He says, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).  Why does He create calamity?  Why did He lead an army of locusts against His people in Judah and completely ravage the land?  Can we answer those questions?  What does Joel have to say to us about calamities and the purposes of God for us? 

This week we will conclude our study of this mysterious minor prophet, Joel, and Lord willing, we will walk away with a proper fear of and deeper love for our Savior.   

Pray:  As you come to this week’s meditation, take a moment and read Psalm 147:10-11 and let that passage shape your prayer, asking the Lord to speak to you through the prophet Joel.

Read:  Joel 1-3.

Meditate:  Our meditation today will focus on 2:18-3:21.  We will pause on some familiar words spoken by the apostle Peter and think about how they apply to the Day of the Lord as Joel unpacks it for us.