Inspired by the first chapter of the Book of Joel, verses 1-12...
This entire passage is devastation. It’s like a life spun out of control and dying a slow death. External forces swoop in and gnaw away at all the hard work you’ve done during planting season. The sweat of your brow has been in vain because your harvest is stolen away from you. There’s no life left in your garden with which to sustain yourself. But why? What have you done wrong?
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.
You're often knocked so far back that you're shocked senseless. You scratch your head looking for answers, and find none. You’re surrounded by complete darkness, covered by a thick fog. The thoughts roll around in your mind in no particular order. Your memory fails to reveal the point along your path where you took a wrong turn. How did this happen?
The fields are destroyed,
the ground mourns,
because the grain is destroyed,
the wine dries up,
the oil languishes.
You’ve lived so long in a way that makes sense to you. You are right in your own sight, and especially compared to others. And yet, you suffer. It seems unfair that you should be attacked right and left by all manner of locusts, against which you have no defense. These devourers have no care and concern for your loss. They only care to feed their hunger. They’re selfish, self-centered, and self-consumed.
O tillers of the soil;
wail, O vinedressers,
for the wheat and the barley,
because the harvest of the field
Why have they come? Where did they come from? These are pointless questions to ask. By the time you figure out the whys and wherefores, they've destroyed your flesh and even your bones. They've sucked your lifeblood dry, and you're nothing but a carcass. You're dust, drier than the desert sands, and scattered by the wind.
It doesn’t matter why or where. It only matters who. Who has the ability to turn dust into a man? Who took the bone of that living man and created a woman? Who has the power to resurrect you? Who loves you enough to save you?
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.
The locusts of life prove how vulnerable you really are. All the work of your hands can disappear in a flash. The very purpose of your existence is as fleeting as the number of your days. Soon, you are a distant memory of a time past, and all your hard work has turned to rust long ago. Try as you might, you cannot turn back time.
But you can turn to the One who isn’t bound by it. He is your only hope. The Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. The Almighty. Creator of all things. The One who loves you. God, the Father. All the answers are found in Him. Amen.
*I encourage you to take a trip around the world of Scripture. The only passport you’ll need for your journey is the Read Scripture app which will provide your daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that will serve as your tour guide.
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)