Covid 19: Reflections from the Prophet Joel

A cataclysmic event gets our attention.  It may involve personal loss, social disruption, natural disaster, plague or pandemic.  In Joel’s day an agriculturally based economy was destroyed by locusts.  It prompted the question, “Has anything like this ever happened before?!” (Joel 1:2)  Yes it has, and these events will continue to happen. 

Now this kind of catastrophe has affected us, and we expect the focus of the cosmos to be on us.  It exposes the moral and spiritual reality of our lives, previously hidden beneath routine, preoccupation on ourselves, and constant distractions.  We are insecure and fearful, and our “joy withers away.” (1:12)  Joel refers to times like this as “the Day of the Lord” in our lives. (1:5; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14)  God is not necessarily acting to punish; it may be that He has allowed this in order to get our attention.  We know that humanity rarely seeks God in times of prosperity.

This is a time to take inventory, to “call a solemn assembly.” (1:14; 2:15-6)  It is a time to listen and reflect on the revealed presence and purposes of God for our lives.  It is a time where we are summoned to a “Valley of Decision.” (3:2, 12, 14)  We must realize that there is a God, and we are not Him: Joel’s name means “Jehovah is God.”

This may also be a season of true and lasting satisfaction, where a fountain of Spirit-infused restoration and vision flows in a way that causes waves of influence for generations to come!  (2:28-32; 3:18)

Our world will culminate in the ultimate “Day of the Lord,” where the grace and glory of God will become our eternal occupation and focus.