READ : Joel 1:1-14
Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? (v. 2 NIV)
A number of years ago a Jewish rabbi named Harold Kushner wrote a book entitled Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? But an even greater question would be, “Why do bad things happen at all?” The Bible presents God as the One who is sovereign and in control of all things. But as the Heidelberg Catechism says, “all things come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.”
Something really bad had happened in Israel. A devastating plague of locusts had overrun the land, ruining all the crops and leaving only desolation in their wake. What would happen to the people? Certainly many would die of starvation. It was a very grave situation.
The question was why did God allow that. The answer was that in Joel’s day the people of Israel had pretty much abandoned the Lord. Although he was the God of their forefathers, they hardly knew him and were living apart from him. They had been neglecting their spiritual life and scarcely realized it. Frankly, they didn’t have a clue about what to do.
Fortunately, Joel knew what to do because he knew the Lord. He was able to point them in the right direction – to repentance, humility, and prayer. Perhaps God sometimes allows bad things to happen to get our attention, so that we turn back to him.
Lord, by whatever means necessary, please get my attention today. Amen.