Summary: Even through the judgment, God is FOR His 'Crown Creation' and demonstrates it.
Words of Warning – Series on Joel
God for Us
* I begin and end today with one thought- “GOD IS FOR US”! That is, God is for His people. Those who are blood-bought, born-again, & redeemed. God is for us in that He wants the best for all His children.
* Lest I be misunderstood, for those who are not a member of the ‘family of God’, God is for you also. He is so much for you that He allowed Jesus, His one and only Son, to be used and abused to the point of death for you. Jesus died on the cross for your sins which means your penalty of sin has been paid by Jesus’ death. He rose from the grave to give you new life. The incredible part is that; with all of this being done by God, He requires a decision from you. He is for you in that He desires for you to accept His offer of forgiveness through His Son. It is only in that decision you can bourn, bought, and adopted into God’s family! Then there exists an entirely NEW way in which God is for you. He is now not simply your creator, He now becomes your heavenly Father. As such, you become the ‘apple of His eye.’ He desires for you to become all you were created to become.
* Additionally, as we have read in our text, God will then go to the mat for you! I mean, He has already gone to the grave so what more can He do? Here what more He does: He stands for us in the time of His greatest judgment! In reading the prophecy of Joel, we discover that when time draws to a close, God will judge the sin & unbelief found in this world and He will judge them harshly. He will do this because God cannot and will not tolerate sin in His presence now or in the world to come.
* That being said, God goes the extra step to protect His people through the judgment. Last week, God called for repentance from the corrupt ways which His people had embraced and then made a plea for fasting, weeping, and mourning. In other ways, He desired for His people to be sorry enough for their sin that they sincerely wept, prayed, & returned to Him so that the lost culture would know that Jehovah was their God. Now, we are ready to move to verse 18 & discover what He says to us;
1. The Hand of God – In verses 18-28 we find that when God’s people come in brokenness and repentance for their sin that He took & He takes ACTION! The text says, He became jealous (zealous) for His land, spared (showed pity on, commiserated with) His people, & then He promised what He would do with the works of His hands. No matter how far you’ve fallen God will still bring you back to Himself with His hands.
* Now, what does He promise His people?
a. The Provision from God – (v19) One of the reason for studying God’s word in a verse by verse manner is to understand the nuances of what He is telling us. Do you remember verse 4 of Chapter 1? (read) How about after the locust come and ravage the land? Then we read of the havoc brought about by the “Day of the Lord.” It is like the aftermath of a war. To reside in a war torn land is (for me) unimaginable. The best I can offer is that you spend time attempting to make sense from non-sense! To look at the landscape as has been depicted in this text is to get a sense of a war-torn land, with people almost wandering aimlessly, and into this situation comes the Father saying, “Don’t lose hope, I’m still in charge.” So into the midst of the barrenness of the land God sends the essentials to His people. He doesn’t just send just enough; He satiates, satisfies, or give them full to overflowing, in fact, He send so much that they get weary of it. This reminds me of the manna in the wilderness. The applications here are plenty. Practically, in those days, God will provide all that His children need and more. Spiritually, whatever you may need (I.E. help, hope, healing, etc) God will supply. The Bible says, “But my God will supply all your needs according (the best part) to HIS RICHES in GLORY!” He is my provision, but He doesn’t stop at just providing with His hand, next see;
b. The Protection by God – (Read vs 20-22) Admittedly, this passage can be seen in light of history or prophecy, that is what has already happen and/or what is going to happen; but I suggest that the principle we are to grasp is that God protects His people. Now, He doesn’t keep us from anything that might cause us pain because the valley of pain is God’s workshop in our lives. Very little has the power to draw us nearer to God than pain. In the life of a believer, one might detect their maturity level by the amount of pain required to force them to turn to God for help. It’s kind of like parents guiding their children. The less mature the children are the more pressure required to get them to respond, while the more mature the child the less pressure required. So God doesn’t protect us from every little pain, but in the face of the catastrophe found in God’s judgment we can discover God’s protection. When we depend on Him, He will drive out our enemies and banish them out of our sight. This is why scriptures teach, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” When we resist evil, we release God to do battle for us and God can finish any battle in which He is engaged. Not only will He drive them out He will put them to death.