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Week 75

September 20th, 2017
 
A New Beginning
Joel 3:17-21
 
Read
“Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, live in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be holy forever, and foreign armies will never conquer her again.”

“In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the LORD’s Temple, watering the arid valley of acacias.

“But Egypt will become a wasteland and Edom will become a wilderness, because they attacked the people of Judah and killed innocent people in their land.”

“But Judah will be filled with people forever, and Jerusalem will endure through all generations.

“I will pardon my people’s crimes, which I have not yet pardoned; and I, the LORD, will make my home in Jerusalem with my people.” (Joel 3:17-21)
 
Reflect
At the beginning of his prophecy, Joel stressed the need for repentance. Now the book ends with the promise of forgiveness that repentance brings. Joel wanted to convince the people to wake up (1:5), get rid of their complacency, and realize the danger of living apart from God. His message to us is that there is still time; anyone who calls on God’s name can be saved (2:12-14, 32). Those who turn to God will enjoy the blessings mentioned in Joel’s prophecy; those who refuse will face destruction.

The picture of this restored land is one of perfect beauty, similar to the garden of Eden. The life-giving fountain flowing from the Lord’s house illustrates the blessings that come from God. Those who attach themselves to him will be forever fruitful. (See also Ezekiel 47:1-12; Revelation 22:1-2.)
 
Respond
The last word will be God’s; his ultimate sovereignty will be revealed in the end. We cannot predict when that end will come, but we can have confidence in his control over the world’s events. The world’s history, as well as our own pilgrimage, is in God’s hands. We can be secure in his love and trust him to guide our decisions. Pray about your commitment to trust God.
 
 
 
 
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