Dancing in the Dark
God, reveal Yourself in the midst of the difficulties I face in my life today.
Read Joel 2:1–11
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was in ancient times
nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
behind them, a desert waste—
nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses;
they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots
they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
like thieves they enter through the windows.
10 Before them the earth shakes,
the heavens tremble,
the sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders
at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great;
it is dreadful.
Who can endure it?
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWe are often quick to ask God to rescue us from a situation rather than to seek to meet him within it.
Joel knew that God is present in all seasons. Even when the land is destroyed, and the trumpet of God’s army sounds, God is in control.
The Day of the Lord is not to be thought of as a day of light in the first instance. Rather, the Day of the Lord is a terrible thing. The question is asked, “Who can endure it?” Surely the question is rhetorical. God’s people can, because God is with them, and they can cry out to him. As God carries out his redeeming work, it may be dark indeed. Yet within it there is hope.
The Day of the Lord brings present devastation, and also a future hope. Right now, for many people of God in our world, it is night. Joel shows us that even in the darkest of times, God is available to his people. There is no night so dark that God cannot be seen or heard.
It is a fearful thing to walk through the darkness. The good news is that God is present, before and after troubled times—and in the midst of them.
Do you know someone who is not ready for the Day of the Lord? How can you impact them for God’s kingdom today?
Lord, You are my refuge and strength. When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, remind me that You are with me.
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