“Lord, I cry to you, For the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned all the trees of the field.”
In the midst of the destitution and disaster, this is the only thing that we can do and the most powerful thing we can do. We cry to the Lord in our pains and troubles and He will deliver us. The trouble here, is the influx of hoards of locusts that have destroyed everything and are likened to a devouring fire that has burned up all the pasture land and the trees of the field. Fire totally destroys and there is no possibility of getting the constituent part back as they were before. It is wholly destructive and this has been the judgment of the Lord on the sin of the people.
God will not tolerate sin, especially in is beloved people, and will deal with us and help us to “see” the rottenness that we have fallen into and give us a way out in repentance.
The problem with these people that the prophet is ministering to, is that they are almost insensible to the voice of the Lord. They do not listen to the prophet. They do not cry out in their famine. They are less sensible than the beasts which have cried to the Lord for food and sustenance. Now the mountains and cool wildernesses are burned up and destroyed and still they do not cry out.
The prophet says that he alone will cry to the Lord. It is a personal response to the situation and Joel recognises his need for the Lord, as do the animals and the field. The people remain deaf to the pleadings of the Lord. The cannot even respond to the trial of fire. This is the natural state of the human heart without God, and a desperately sad and depraved one.
Beloved, may we cry out in our need and experience the deliverance of the Lord before the trial get too onerous and we really fall and fail. May we see the warning signs in our own lives that we are wandering and stop the slipping before it gets away from the presence of the Lord.
“Be merciful to me, God, be merciful to me, for my soul takes refuge in you. Yes, in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge, until disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God who accomplishes my requests for me.”
Those who call out to Him are never disappointed and He will deliver the humble from the temptation, the snare and the destruction that await those who refuse. These people in this time of Joel are in deep trouble and their hearts are far from the Lord. They refuse to cry…