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2021 - The Lord is There

Joel 2:28-32.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

We can take a few minutes to reflect and capture those moments in 2020 that we felt some joy or comfort, no matter how little, and thank God for them... Thank you Father God for 2020, and for those moments that Your light was shone in darkness, and those moments when we were encouraged... and that You keep on keeping us. We are so grateful!

In the Old Testament journey of the Israelites, we see a constant cycle where the Israelites keep turning away from God's ways. And when they do, God forsakes them (2 Chronicles 15:2). Then they get exiled. They cry to God. God saves them. And then they repeat the cycle.

The book of Joel is a similar story of the Israelites' exile cycle. God forsakes them. They cry out to God and He 'took pity' on them (v18), He is merciful. And more than that, he promises a day when He will come, and He paints a picture of what would happen when He comes (v28-32). A picture that reminds them that the Lord is There.

There will be a manifestation of:
  • The Presence of God, v28-29 (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for a godly living)
  • The Judgement from God, v30-31 (His Presence will judge wickedness and infirmity inflicted on His people)
  • The Exodus Experience, v32 (His Presence will save and deliver)
There are several places in Scripture where the Holy Spirit is said to be poured - both in prophecy (Joel 2:28, Isaiah 32:15, Ezekiel 39:29) and fulfilment i.e. Post-Pentecost (Acts 2:16-18; 2:33; 10:44-45, Romans 5:5.) But in Joel's prophecy, we see exactly what "the Holy Spirit being poured out" means. The point is that when something is poured out it flows freely, not sparingly. And so it is with the Holy Spirit, when He is poured out His reach is deep and wide and unstoppable. It is independent of
  • Race: He will be poured out on all people (v28)
  • Gender: Sons and daughters, both men and women (v28,29)
  • Age: Old men and young men (v28)
  • Class: Even servants (v29)
  • and Season: He will be poured out in those days (v29)
In essence, on the day of the Lord, anyone who wants to at any time will encounter Him simply because the Lord is there (in those days, which is our days) by His Spirit.

The text refers to the time when the prophecy will be fulfilled as "The Day of the Lord" (v31) - which means when Jesus is glorified - thus the Pentecost, and ultimately His second coming. So we are living in this fulfilment (the post-Pentecost).

So we may not know exactly what times and seasons hold, but we can rest in the assurance based on God's promise that (even in this year 2021);
He (Our Jehovah Shammah) is always there!
And that He (Our El Mishpat) is going to judge sickness and afflictions!
And that He (Our Jehovah Nissi) will deliver us!

Father God, we thank you for 2021. And we rejoice in knowing that you are here, and you will heal and deliver us and restore joy, and everyone who calls on Your Name will be saved, in Jesus name, amen.

Have a wonderful year and God bless you exceedingly.

Sam.

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