Summary: This is an outline about God’s provisions for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness in this generation where there is a famine of the Word of God.
Empty Silos and Starving Sheep
Joel 1:15-20 (Note 17 and 20)
Intro: In the days that Joel prophesied there was a great famine in Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel. It is believed that Joel was a priest, for he directs much of his prophecies to the priesthood. Joash was king of Judah during the ministry of Joel, and he was unique in his reign. He began his reign when he was only seven, and he reigned 40 years. Until he was at least 30 years old he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. He was directed in those years by Jehoidia the priest, and he even led an effort to repair the house of God in Jerusalem. After the death of Jehoidia about 25 years into the reign of Joash, the king headed the voice of the princes of Judah. They forsook the house of God and made sacrifice to their idols in the groves and high places. God sent famine, peril, and sword to get them to repent. Zechariah, the priest and son of Jehoidia, preached against the idolatry of the reign of Joash, but Joash had him stoned for this message. God sent Syria into Jerusalem to humble them in battle, but they would not repent. Finally, a band of his own servants killed him for the blood of Zechariah, the priest Joash slew.
Joel is prophesying during the midst of the judgement of God on the nation of Judah for this idolatrous lifestyle. His prophecy tells us that God sent a great famine to try to get the people of God to repent. He said that things were so bad that the ground was giving no crops, and the garners or silos are laid desolate (v. 17). He said that the beasts of the field were starving to death (v. 20). Surely this is the case with many today. We have not a famine of food and water but of hearing the Word of God. Our silos are empty and our sheep are starving. Today I want to exhort you to seek bread of the Lord, and ask water of our God. He will hear and give water to the thirsty and bread to the hungry (Isaiah 44:3, 55:1-2, Joel 2). Matthew 5:6 says that we are blessed. He will fill us when we are:
I. Lost on the Backside of the Desert: II Samuel 9, Mephibosheth was in Lodebar, the land of no pasture. Yet as the lost sheep he was brought to the kings palace to eat bread at his table.
II. Living Backslidden in Moab: Ruth 1, Naomi lost all, but God sent her word of bread in Bethlehemjudah.
III. Lowly in Tribulation: Matthew 15, woman’s daughter was vexed of the devil, and all that she asked for was the crumbs that dropped from the master’s table. Jesus made her daughter whole that very hour.
IV. Longing for Fellowship with the Master: Mark 6, Jesus departs with his Apostles into a secluded location to pray. Many of the people of the area follow seeking to fellowship with the master. Jesus gave them bread.
Conclusion: Do you feel hungry for the sweet manna from heaven? Is your soul famished in this land of no bread? Have you ever been to the master’s table in salvation? Has it been some time since you last ate bread in Bethlehem? Have the tribulations and burdens of this life made your silos desolate? Are you just longing once more to fellowship with the master? Are you a starving sheep longing for bread? There is plenty for you at the feet of Jesus. Will you come and dine?
Jesus told Peter in John 21 to feed the sheep and the lambs. Today I want simply to give you a taste of the Lord to see that he is the bread of life. You will then know that there is an ample supply of all that you need.