The Day of the Lord
Gracious Lord, may I live this day with an awareness that Your living presence dwells within me.
Read Joel 2:1-11
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on … I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light” (Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, 1899-1993).
The day of the Lord brings dread and trembling (1), and rightly so, for it is connected with “darkness and gloom” (2). The passage sounds the alarm that this day is coming and suggests a terrifying military attack (in the immediate or distant future or both). Seeing the invading army, “every face turns pale” (6). The military machine is like a destructive vacuum cleaner, sucking up a garden and throwing up desert wasteland behind (3). No corner is spared.
The army is unstoppable. The sound of invasion is absolutely frightening, and the soldiers march in a straight line–nothing could stand before them or obstruct them (7,8). They enter every house and window (9). No one is spared. The people are totally helpless against such an onslaught–a most terrifying situation. Indeed, the day of the Lord is “dreadful”; who can endure it (11)? The answer to that rhetorical question is “no one,” but we must note one detail before we come to a conclusion.
The invading army is led by the Lord himself (11)! The Jews saw the invading Babylonians as rough and cruel enemies, but God, who is sovereign, is able to use the unlikeliest instruments to fulfill his purpose (Hab. 1:5-11). Thus the invading army is not simply an impersonal cruel reality to which we must helplessly surrender. Before the army is the Lord–and here is comforting truth: disasters that overtake us may appear merciless, but God, who is merciful, is in control and will accomplish his purposes (Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11,12). In the case of Judah, God allowed the Babylonians to devastate the land so that Judah could return to him. In our case, he may do a similar thing. When bad things happen, remember that the good God is in control (Rev. 7:15-17).
Meditate on Romans 8:28. All things are at God’s disposal and he will use them (including invading armies) for our good. Share this with someone.
Sovereign Lord, help me to remember I will never be caught in the grip of circumstances, but I will always be secure in the love of God.
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