Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Calling in Dryness

Joel 1:19-20
(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.

This passage comes at the end of a chapter that describes a terrible blight on the land. Locusts have devoured all the plants. There is a terrible drought. The priests don't have anything to offer at the temple. Basically, the nation is in trouble.

We all have calamity from time to time. How will we respond? We could shake our fists at the heavens and tell God that He doesn't know how to run our world very well. We could be like the new atheists who are sure of two things:

  1. God doesn't exist
  2. They hate Him
Or we could respond in humble submission to His authority. We could trust that maybe He knows how to run the universe better than we do. There are plenty of times when it seems that He is not good because of our circumstances. I think that as we go through Joel we'll see that He is more loving and good than we can imagine.


tom sheepandgoats said...

Has God withheld his blessing upon the earth in the past when the majority ignored his laws? Is that somewhere in Joel? Or somewhere else?

At any rate, we are encouraged by the account of Jesus' mastery of the elements on the Sea of Galilee. When he rules over the earth as uncontested king, even the weather and "natural disasters" will behave.

Jason said...

Off the top of my head, I think of the drought in Kings when Ahab was a wicked ruler. Then again, the book of James reminds us that drought came after Elijah prayed and for 3 1/2 years it didn't rain. Then he prayed again and the earth gave rain.

Yes, God is indeed sovereign over everything. This is why I am not reluctant to attribute God to a Hurricane Katrina. However, I am not about to ascribe motives to Him.