After reading through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, I thought I would turn to the Old Testament. I don’t know much about the minor prophets, so I thought I would start with Joel.
Joel is pretty bleak. It’s about a devastating locust swarm and how it has destroyed the nation. The description is pretty discouraging: waves of locusts eating what the last wave had left. Food, wine, temple offerings, all gone and eaten.
Joel then tells the people to mourn this loss, to put on sackcloths, weep like a virgin who has lost her fiancé. The elders, priests and people are called to cry out to the Lord.
It’s interesting because there are currently locust swarms destroy huge quantities of crops in East Africa and Pakistan and its surrounding countries. In one day, apparently one swarm can eat as much as 35,000 would. That is terrible. Now they are mating, meaning another swarm is coming. It looks like what happened in Joel.
And yet where are the sackcloths and where is the mourning? Who is praying and crying out to the Lord for these nations. South Sudan, which has already been destroyed by conflict, has been hit. As a church, I think we need to get better at crying out about these terrible things that are happening.