Many people don’t seem to care about the state of our world. Live and let live invite all spirituality in. Coexist. We keep taking it and we are not even alarmed by the evil which passes for good in today’s world. This prophecy of an invasion of locusts and the lackadaisical attitude of Judah is very similar to our apathy to the state of the world and the state of our church. Verses 1-3 call us to sit up, pay attention, and tell our children.
“The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:
2 Hear this, you elders;
give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
or in the days of your fathers?
3 Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation.”
Is it really acceptable to see what is going on? Some people receive honor for hating themselves and mutilating their bodies, while others risk and sacrifice so much of who they are in war and come home to homelessness, poverty, and disabilities. We are told it is hateful to tell people about Jesus’ Salvation and loving to let people hate God by their lifestyles. Our fruit is being destroyed as we fall for the lies of the world, and without our fruit, how can there be a harvest? Verse 4 describes the enemy as locusts.
“What the cutting locust left,
the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
the hopping locust has eaten,
and what the hopping locust left,
the destroying locust has eaten.”
Jesus described the enemy as a thief and compared him to himself in John 10:7-11,
“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Locusts destroy everything, the leave nothing behind and nothing to salvage. The enemy wants to destroy, and he is destroying. And some of us are sitting back watching it happen. We have to wake up, open our eyes, take our eyes off our Christianese little lives where we freak out because a coffee company didn’t put Santa Claus on a cup, and pay attention to what matters. We are losing our Jesus’ harvest to the enemy. Our testimony is being destroyed by the enemy, and the fruit that is left looks withered and dry to the world. Verses 5-6 read,
“Awake, you drunkards, and weep,
and wail, all you drinkers of wine,
because of the sweet wine,
for it is cut off from your mouth.
6 For a nation has come up against my land,
powerful and beyond number;
its teeth are lions' teeth,
and it has the fangs of a lioness.
7 It has laid waste my vine
and splintered my fig tree;
it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
their branches are made white.”
The enemy is not just Satan. He is not a happy little devil doing mischief in the world. He is evil and he hates us and he hates God. He is your adversary, your enemy. (1 Peter 5:8-9). He has demons, followers, and minions. The spirit of darkness is vast and has a vast nation. He is doing all he can to ruin us and make us ineffective. He has laid waste to the vine. Israel is no longer in relationship with God, because they fell for the lies and rejected Christ. The enemy has splintered God’s fig tree, the church who let the enemy come in and divide, water down, and make us a joke to the world. Too many of us are stripped and fruitless. We can’t just be okay with it. God wants us to react, to care, to mourn, weep, and wail.
“Lament like a virgin wearing sackcloth
for the bridegroom of her youth.
9 The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off
from the house of the Lord.
The priests mourn,
the ministers of the Lord.
10 The fields are destroyed,
the ground mourns,
because the grain is destroyed,
the wine dries up,
the oil languishes.”
We should be acting as if it is as serious as it is. The world is losing Jesus! They are going to miss the wedding feast! And we act as if we don’t care. Jesus can save them. The can be His bride. His blood, the wine isn’t helping because they don’t know they need it. We are afraid we’ll offend someone and so we let them keep going to hell. The oil of The Holy Spirit could be healing them, but we let him go unused and don’t even pray for them. We should be ashamed that we don’t have enough faith in God to risk offending someone with Jesus’ love. Verses 11-12 say,
“Be ashamed, O tillers of the soil;
wail, O vinedressers,
for the wheat and the barley,
because the harvest of the field has perished.
12 The vine dries up;
the fig tree languishes.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple,
all the trees of the field are dried up,
and gladness dries up
from the children of man.”
We do not have to let the ministrations of Jesus Christ go undone. They are not useless. That is a lie of the enemy that the world believes and many who call themselves Christian have fallen for. The Holy Spirit is awesome! He is not useless and His works are needed. Have we fallen for the lies? Are we letting the fruit of the Spirit dry up unused? Are we so afraid of not looking like what the world sees as love that we are not loving people? Those lies are from Satan. Those false teachings, prophets, and doctrines are from Satan. It is time to stop, turn around, and be the powerful victors, Jesus called us to be. The enemy may be a countless nation of destroying locusts with fangs like a lion, but we have The LORD! 1 John 4:1-6 says,
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
Let’s repent! Let’s stop relying on our intuition and rely on God. Let’s fight the enemy! Let’s pray! Let’s praise, worship, and thank Almighty God. Verses 13-14 read,
“Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests;
wail, O ministers of the altar.
Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
Because grain offering and drink offering
are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord”
Why? Why should we care? Why should we be doing something to save the harvest? Because The Day of the LORD is coming. God loves the lost as much as He loves you. He doesn’t want them to die and I hope we do not either. (2 Peter 3:9). He was not okay with what Adolf Hitler did, or Sadaam Hussein either. But He is not happy that they are going to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. He loved them and wanted them to know Him. Who missed their chance to tell them about Jesus? Who is missing their chance to tell Charles Manson about Him? Verses 15-20 describe the desperateness of our prayers and the situation.
“Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.
16 Is not the food cut off
before our eyes,
joy and gladness
from the house of our God?
17 The seed shrivels under the clods;
the storehouses are desolate;
the granaries are torn down
because the grain has dried up.
18 How the beasts groan!
The herds of cattle are perplexed
because there is no pasture for them;
even the flocks of sheep suffer.
19 To you, O Lord, I call.
For fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness,
and flame has burned
all the trees of the field.
20 Even the beasts of the field pant for you
because the water brooks are dried up,
and fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness.”
Believer, are you awake to the struggle around you? Do you see the critical state of affairs around you? Are you doing the ministry of the Father’s business or are you doing the ministry of Christianese businesses? Are you sharing the gospel praying, making disciples, and being a disciple? Or are you being Christian by eating more chicken, watching “positive” movies, and listening to “positive” music? One produces juicy nutritious fruit, the other produces raisins.