Saturday, August 17, 2019

August 17 - Joel 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Joel 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The book of Joel opens with a panicked tone. A series of locust invasions, combined with a drought, has ravaged the land. The food supply is desolated, as are many items used for sacrifices in the Temple.
  • Amid the language dripping with fear, there is a seemingly odd instruction for priests to "dress themselves in burlap." Back then, wearing burlap was a sign of mourning.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • This chapter offers no hope. It is full of desperation and panic. Joel urges followers of God to cry out to him, but nothing seems to be working.
  • Just as Joel is brutally honest with God, we can open up to him about our pain. Life has plenty of ups and downs, and God is with us through all of it -- even if it's not clear how he is working.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there a painful part of your life you haven't talked to God about? Open up to him and be honest without worrying about saying the "right" things. He knows what you're dealing with, and he wants to journey with you through it.