Monday: Blow the Trumpet!
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When natural disasters occur, they provoke many questions, such as,

Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

“Why did God allow this to happen?” “Why have some people lived, while others have died?” “Is there a lesson here that we could learn?” Joel had no doubt that the locust plague could lead to a deeper insight into God’s universal plan. In chapter 1, under divine inspiration, the prophet relates the national crisis to the spiritual situation in the land. The locusts have left nothing that could be offered as sacrifice to the Lord. The grain offering and the drink offering were part of the daily offering in the temple, in accordance with the instructions recorded in Exodus 29:40 and Numbers 28:58. The cutting off of the sacrifices was severe, but it should have served as a warning to the people of their grave condition. The loss of opportunity even to offer the sacrifices symbolized the breaking of the covenant between God and Israel. But, unlike many of the other prophets, Joel did not spend much time making an analysis of people’s failings. He was interested far more in dwelling on the cure as prescribed by Israel’s divine Physician.

Read Joel 1:13-20. What is Joel saying to the people? However unique the circumstances, in what ways is that which is being said here a plea that is commonly seen throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments?

The prophet urges the spiritual leaders to call a nationwide day of prayer and fasting so that the people can search deep within their hearts, renounce their sins, and return to their God. In this way they will come out of the experience with a renewed trust in God’s love and justice. In the end, this disaster might lead the believers into a deeper relationship with their Lord.

Throughout the Scripture, God is described as the Lord of nature, the One who created it, sustains it, and also uses it for His divine purposes. In this natural disaster, instead of rending their garments, the prophet Joel says that the people should rend their hearts and make them open to God’s grace and compassion.

Disasters may strike us in many forms. When they do, regardless of our understanding of them and their causes, what Bible promises can we cling to for hope and the strength to endure? What promises are especially meaningful to you?

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Monday: Blow the Trumpet! — 18 Comments

  1. As adventists today we should use what God has blessed us with to do His work and not wait for disasters then wish we had so as to give for God's work there are still many who have not heard the truth.

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  2. It is true that when disaster strikes we tend to ask why. It certainly may be our fault but not necessarily so. Throughout the Bible good, righteous people have been subject to such things. Sometimes they get caught in the middle of national disasters which they had no part in causing. When Daniel and his friends were taken captive to Babylon it wasn't because God was punishing them but because they had a witness to bear. When wave after wave of trouble hit Job it wasn't because he did something terribly wrong but because God was proving a point by allowing Satan to afflict him. Besides during the plagues of Egypt the children of Israel suffered under the first three plagues along with those who were the reason for the plagues. They weren't separated from them until judgment was made where the Egyptian priests admitted that, "This is the finger of God" (Exod. 8:19 NKJV) which Pharaoh rejected.

    We need wisdom from God to discern the times and to know why stuff happens. Further, as Christians we should understand that, "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12 NKJV) and that may come in a variety of ways.

    All of this will become increasingly important to understand as we near the end for Satan will be given more and more control as God pulls His spirit away because of stubborn rejection by a world gone mad. Eventually the saints will be left in an environment that for all intents and purposes Satan has full control of and that means they will be targeted as nonconformists of his regime. Under that condition they will feel the full weight of wrath from the chief of tyrants yet they should rest in Jesus with the full faith of assurance because they know that they have been justified and accepted.

    That of course is thinking of the ideal and quite often we tend to believe that we are stronger than we actually are and that under those circumstances that we can sort out everything. Such idealistic thinking is problematic and shouldn't be entertained. As Paul said, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12 NKJV). Because of these things now is the time for us to build our faith in God's faithfulness and not wait until disaster hits - now is the time to prove God that He can be trusted. Certainly we all need improvement but to me what we need most is to know how much God cares for us and to remember what Moses told his people, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:6 NKJV).

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    • I have never ever questioned Our Creator during Trials or a Natural Disaster. As The Old Serpent is who sends these events. Our Jehovah God, only do good things the Devil is who causes bad nasty weather and controls the winds of the Earth.

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      • Lesson seems to suggest that the catastrophe is brought about (by God) as God's means of reminding his children of the need to focus on him. This presents the challenge then of understanding the source of hardships. Is it consistent with God to bring hardships so that his children can return to him?

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  3. The present world is going toward stronger and stronger control. That is from the freak controlling monster - the Devil. In a world that controls every aspect of personal life; evaluating everything by modern moral principles: freedom from God's law and bondage to human laws; we are under persecution already. We even losing battles and not giving a clean testimony to the worldly. Even we become worldly in spite all knowledge of truth. This is a time of trouble.

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  4. Sometimes it takes disaster to wake us up. We may not be living and growing in Christ and reaching out to a dying world. Yes, now is the time to work. Still, we need to be completely connected to the Vine Jesus in order to do anything because we are dead to Love and Life apart from Him. No matter if our day is "good" or "bad," we should cling to Him!! God help me, help us to see our need and choose to stay with you so we can reach out to others.

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  5. Moderator's Note: please use full names when commenting.

    During a disaster one tends to feel so isolated, it does not appear that anyone else is feeling the hopelessness in the same intensity. It cause one to take an inventory to see if there is something one has done to bring it on oneself. It cause one to initiate an attitude of heart searching prayer and fasting. Making things right with others, one might have wronged. I could never have survived my life's disasters without the promises of God, and on the verge of facing loss of our home I hold fast to these promises as I have these 20 plus years. Psalm 23- "I will fear no evil for you God is with me."--"my peace I give unto you...let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." -"The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal" all things will work together for good to those who love the Lord" "Be of a good courage I will never leave you or forsake you"---praise the eternal Jehovah who is my friend!

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  6. It's a fact that we always wait for disaster before we take action.In life prevention is always better than cure.As much as we always ask ourself why,let's consider Jobs story.God help us to be yours now & forever more.

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  7. We need learn with mistakes of past, because Jesus is coming!
    We must be alert not to comitt the same error.
    God bless us all!

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  8. I have always looked at natural disaster as an event which was bound to happen. I have never looked at it as a message to tell us to repent of our sins etc..... I think from now on I should view it as a way that the Lord is in a way communicating with us. Whether I`m involved or not I think it iis a good think to pray for our sins and that of others so that God can intervene.

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  9. God promises that He'll not give us more than we are able to bear (1 Cor. 10:13) & I've relied on that promise many, many times. God is faithful.

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  10. Thank you for the good lesson, for me i have learnt that falling down is normal but falling and do not raise up is the worst part of it. Disasters brings our minds closer to God because the pain. Disasters checks our relationship with God.

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  11. Suppose we had no disaster and every thing was a fairlytale dream right here on earth, then surely we wouldn't see the need for Jesus, let alone the hope that awaits us at His second coming, would we? So, every disaster should shook and remind us that our Sin-Destroyer offers us hope through His blood and thus we should be drawn to Him by confessing & repenting our sins.

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  12. It is just like when the childdren of israel were at Marah, they thought they had been left, not knowing that Elim was just ahead where water was plentiful. We are to trust annd lean on the Saviour even when all hope is lost and when we seem to be overwhelmed. When these things happen to us we tend to be close to God. I have realized that I pray more when I have problems, it revitalizes my relationship with God.

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  13. God is not so much interested in our material offering rather He is much concerned on the type of relationship we have with Him,He reads through our heart and what He wants from us is to come to him with a contrite heart, confess our sins and renew a strong relationship with. Yes He is indeed the owner of nature and thats why He uses it as a tool to bring us back to Him. We shouldn't be confused at the sight of confusion rather we should think on How best to solve the problem.

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  14. We ought to blow the trumpet to the world of which we live. The truth is now known to us. Others we have not contacted with before can have access to therefor we need to reveal to them. The word of God is powerful

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  15. Ready for Eternity

    As to calamities, I should like to underscore the necessity of readiness for eternity. Refering to a massacre perpetrated by Pilate at the altar and also pointing to those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, Christ asked his listeners, whether they thought that all these victims were more guilty than all the other people in the surrounding area. Christ did not draw such a conclusion. He made the point: If they did not repent, they would die likewise --- without repentance (Luke 13:1-5). What a tragedy this would be. Hence, the necessity of daily readiness for eternity.

    For one of the criminals at the cross it was very late, but not too late. Calamity struck upon him as he indeed WAS guilty (Luke 23:41). He accepted Christ`s grace before death closed his time of probation (Luke 23:42-43). Christ was waiting for him until the very last. This gives hope as Christ is waiting for us to accept His grace that makes us ready for eternity. What a message! What a Saviour!

    Winfried Stolpmann

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