Joel 1** From the desolations about to come upon the land of Judah, bythe ravages of locusts and other insects, the prophet Joelexhorts the Jews to repentance, fasting, and prayer. He noticesthe blessings of the gospel, with the final glorious state ofthe church. * A plague of locusts. (1-7) All sorts of people are called tolament it. (8-13) They are to look to God. (14-20)1-7 The most aged could not remember such calamities as wereabout to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the landto eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also tothe destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems torefer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord ofhosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases,can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by theweakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God totake away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess;and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications ofsense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. Themore earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more weexpose ourselves to trouble. 8-13 All who labour only for the meat that perishes, will,sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. Those that placetheir happiness in the delights of sense, when deprived of them,or disturbed in the enjoyment, lose their joy; whereas spiritualjoy then flourishes more than ever. See what perishing,uncertain things our creature-comforts are. See how we need tolive in continual dependence upon God and his providence. Seewhat ruinous work sin makes. As far as poverty occasions thedecay of piety, and starves the cause of religion among apeople, it is a very sore judgment. But how blessed are theawakening judgments of God, in rousing his people and callinghome the heart to Christ, and his salvation! 14-20 The sorrow of the people is turned into repentance andhumiliation before God. With all the marks of sorrow and shame,sin must be confessed and bewailed. A day is to be appointed forthis purpose; a day in which people must be kept from theircommon employments, that they may more closely attend God'sservices; and there is to be abstaining from meat and drink.Every one had added to the national guilt, all shared in thenational calamity, therefore every one must join in repentance.When joy and gladness are cut off from God's house, when seriousgodliness decays, and love waxes cold, then it is time to cryunto the Lord. The prophet describes how grievous the calamity.See even the inferior creatures suffering for our transgression.And what better are they than beasts, who never cry to God butfor corn and wine, and complain of the want of the delights ofsense? Yet their crying to God in those cases, shames thestupidity of those who cry not to God in any case. Whatever maybecome of the nations and churches that persist in ungodliness,believers will find the comfort of acceptance with God, when thewicked shall be burned up with his indignation.
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