Wake-Up Call

locusts plagueRead Joel 1:1 through 3:21

The locusts swarmed in like an invading army, creating an unnatural cloud that covered the horizon and dimmed the sunlight. They attacked in waves, and they knew exactly what they wanted. Within hours the wheat and barley harvest disappeared; not even stalks remained. Fruit trees were stripped, vines trampled, and every green pasture devoured. An even worse drought followed. Never had a plague so ravaged Israelite land.

Calamities often strike without warning. They can affect a whole nation or just one family. Their aftermath can leave us impoverished, bewildered, and looking for answers. The prophet Joel knew where to turn.

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD (Joel 1:14).

Not all catastrophes result from natural consequences. Some have divine origin and carry a message. In Joel’s case, the plague was a call to repent, but God’s reprimand also contained hope: Whoever does call upon Him will be saved.

Thought for Today: Intercession is still the best solution for times of tragedy. Only God has all the answers. Only He offers salvation to repentant people.

Quicklook: Joel 1:2–14

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2005 Gospel Publishing House (used by permission)

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