God responds

God responds. God always responds.

When the people turn away from their stubbornness and rebellion against God, He responds.

When they are truly sorry in their hearts, He responds.

When they turn back to Him and accept His truth and ways, He responds.

Then the Lord was jealous for his land
and took pity on his people.  Joel 2:18

His land. He doesn’t want to see it go to waste.

His people. He doesn’t want to see them living far from Him.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Psalm 100:3

There will be a time of restoration.

I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you fully.  Joel 2:19

God has promised to provide for His people and He will not let them down. He will not fail to keep His promise. He is faithful.

I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land.  Joel 2:20

God has promised to protect His people and He will not let them down. He will not fail to keep His promise. He is faithful.

Throughout their journey together, God has told His people time and time and time again that they do not need to be afraid. That He will always be there.

Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!  Joel 2:21

They need to look back and remember. They need to trust in God’s love and goodness and faithfulness. He has never let them down before. He is faithful. He will never let them down.

Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.  Joel 2:23

When restoration comes, then the people will rejoice. They will know that God is God. The one true God. They will know that God keeps His word. They will praise God for all that He has done for them.

Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.  Joel 2:27

Never again will my people be shamed. The prophet has said this in the verse before too.

Never again will my people be shamed.  Joel 2:26

And a similar phrase in verse 19.

Never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.  Joel 2:19

pointingWhat the surrounding people think matters. God’s reputation as a faithful, loving God matters. God’s people are to be a light shining in the darkness, a beacon on a hill, a signpost pointing to God. Illuminating the way to the one true God. Showing everyone around them what a relationship with God looks like. Showing the way it should be done.

If God’s people are shamed, then God is shamed.

If God’s people are an object of scorn, then God is an object of scorn.

God’s people still have this role to play today. How God’s people speak and act today matters. It is a reflection on their God. How they demonstrate God’s love in action matters. They are to show others what a relationship with God looks like.

To show others God’s way, His truth, His life.

Don’t look at me. Look at my God.

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