The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. 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. For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions' teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness. (Joel 1:1-6)
What devastation is described here? Famine and pestilence have come upon the nation of Israel. Devouring insects have eaten up their crops. Drunkenness and stupor have overcome the people. A great enemy has taken away the fruit of the vine. The service of God's house is forgotten. The farmers are ashamed because there is no harvest. Joy has departed, God's presence has departed. (v. 16)
These verses not only describe ancient Israel but they describe the state of much of Christianity today. What can be done for such a dire situation? A people must be gathered together to seek the Lord in repentance and faith; Cry out to God for mercy! "Oh Lord, to Thee will I cry" (v.19).
The meat offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of God, joy and gladness are gone. The meat-offering, which was bread, signifies the good of love, and the drink-offering, which was wine, signifies the good of faith. Love and faith are quickly disappearing and there is no reverence for God even in His own house.
The house of God is languishing, the place of His glory is fading. But God will build His Church according to His purpose, He will glorify the name of Jesus Christ again in our generation, He will build His house again and the offering of God's people will flow freely. Let us now lay aside our purposes and seek for His to be fulfilled in this evil time.
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
The enemy did think to scatter and devour God's people but it is they who will be consumed. A recompense of righteousness will come, fear not neither be dismayed, the Lord fights for you O Church!