Loss is usually the signal for grief. What Joel describes this morning are three common symptoms of grief, fasting, weeping and mourning. We fast because we don’t feel like eating. We weep because stress often finds its way out through our eyes. Mourning is about meditating on the loss itself, looking at the open wound in our lives. And this kind of grief isn’t just about losing a person. It can be about losing a job, a spouse (through divorce), a pet, possessions, or even hope for the future. Grief is a natural human reaction to loss of any kind. The degree of grief is according to the perception of the loss.
Now Joel sets his focus on national sin. The Lord is calling to the people of Israel to come back to Him, leave off worshipping false gods, and come back in grief to the Lord. If grief is a response to loss, then what are they grieving? Maybe loss of innocence? Loss of relationship to God? Loss of God’s blessing on their nation and His Divine protection?
May I submit that this text is entirely appropriate for our nation today, though few are aware of what we have lost. We have lost moral authority. We have murdered the innocent, allowed it over and over again. We have protected the guilty. We have promoted immorality and abomination in the form of gay marriage, an absolute mockery of God’s original institution. We have those that fight for the right to be immoral, and I wonder how soon until the Lord vomits us out of his mouth.
We ought to grieve, but we do not grieve as those who have no hope. For we know God is gracious. He welcomes back the repentant. May your prayers today be for the repentance of God’s people.
God bless you today.