Thursday 16 January 2014

Bible Book:

"O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before." (v. 23)

Joel 2:18-27 Thursday 16 January 2014


Redemption is key. But to appreciate the extent of theredemption we need to go back to Joel 1:1-14, where famine and devastation isforetold. Now the reverse takes place. And, as often  in theOld Testament, redemption is imagined in terms of the abundance offood (verse 26) and then in terms of pride (verse 27).

Another image of redemption in the passage is rain (verse 23).For many people who have suffered in the recent storms and floods,rain will remind them of something very different. But for a nationhaving to feed themselves in a hot climate, the need for rain isparamount. It is vital for growing crops, caring for livestock and(not least) for people to drink. To put it simply, it isfundamental to life. But the way the rain is described issignificant. It is not a simple shower; neither is it a torrentialflood. It is rain come early (and later too); it is rain that isabundant. It is enough for life, and then some more. What an imageof grace - love from God and then some more! Love enough and plentyto share.

The people are invited to eat and to be satisfied. There is noplace for hunger. Yet with this, there is a reminder too - theorigin of this grace is "the Lord your God, who has dealtwondrously with you" (v. 26). The implication is that the peopleshall realise this (verse 27) and not forget it.

To Ponder

  • How helpful do you find the image of rain to describe God'sgrace? What other images might you use?
  • It can be easy to forget God when things are going well. But inverse 27, there is a reminder that the origin of this goodness isGod. How do you remember God when life is going smoothly? What moremight you do to acknowledge the source of all goodness? 

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