The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of April 17
The prophet Joel writes in Joel 2:23 in response to a plague of locusts that wreaks havoc upon the land both agriculturally and economically.
And while this impacts God’s people, it goes beyond humans. The plague affects crops and animals – two of the most important resources humans have in order to survive as the earth was “denuded of vegetation and the animals were starving.”
The community loses all of the seeds for the next harvest, and the starving animals wander about desperately seeking pasture that no longer exists.
The people are called to fast and weep and beg God to reconsider their plight – and God’s reputation among the nations who worship other gods.
The prophet’s speech is far-reaching in its scope, but God reaches further still. The inclusivity of the prophet’s call is surpassed by God’s next words through him to the earth and her creatures: “Fear not!” These words are usually addressed to people, frequently people who have encountered God or God’s messengers.
When we hear and adhere to the call of God, we are rewarded. When we don’t, we are admonished. But above all else, we know either way that we are loved by God.