February 12, 2018 Joel 2:1-2
“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near— a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!” vss. 1-2a
A plague of locusts had descended upon Israel! Borne by the desert winds, the cloud of insects had blackened the sky and brought devastation to the land. For Joel, the invasion was a sign of God’s impending judgment and he called upon the nation to repent. While we’re not so likely to attribute natural disasters to God’s wrath, there’s no doubt that they still get our attention. Every year we’re visited by earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and the like…and they seem to be increasing in intensity. They bring with them loss of life and massive property damage, and we’re always humbled by their force and destructive power. They remind us that this earth we inhabit is governed by immutable physical laws and we can never escape their influence. And even though God doesn’t send hurricanes and floods to punish coastal cities, we cannot deny that such events drive us to our knees in prayer and motivate our generous compassion. They are a reminder of our own mortality and impotence, and often provide opportunities for loving service and acts of amazing heroism. The calamities bring communities together and often provide the impetus for repentance and change. We see God, not in the destruction, but in the helping hands of those who serve.
Thought for the Day: What motivates my generosity?