Thursday, October 09, 2008

When a Nation is in Trouble

Early this morning I couldn’t sleep so I was reading in the book of Joel. I noticed some old notes I had written in the margin of the Second Chapter. The note said: “to God’s people…what to do in the time of trouble… Joel 2:15-17:
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"

It tells us:

  1. Blast the trumpet – do not be quiet about the reality of the matter at hand; get the people’s attention.
  2. Declare a Holy fast – Fast for Spiritual purposes not health reasons
  3. Call a sacred assembly—come together across denomination lines for a serious look at our sin and our nations sin
  4. Gather the people – ask them to come; “work the crowd”; be pro active
  5. Consecrate the assembly – prayer before, during, after and forever
  6. Bring together the elders – listen to the wisdom of the elderly; encourage them to come to church; to the church elders—lead
  7. Gather the children, even those nursing at the breast. Teach the younger generation that God still reigns and we need to submit to His Sovereign power and authority
  8. Bridegroom and bride leave their chamber – Interrupt the honeymoon; refrain from sex
  9. “Let the priest minister before the Lord” – Do it; quit talking about it!
  10. Weep” between the temple porch and altar” -- Let’s get serious about the reality of “our” sin and quit pointing our finger at other people. Ask for forgiveness and restoration.
  11. What should we say to the Lord? Spare us – we’re in trouble; Save us – save us not because we’re “good” in and of ourselves, but save us for your own glory, Lord, so the nations will know you are God!
  12. Then the world will know – without a doubt You are God. Amen

    Lord, save us because you are our only hope, the only sovereign, mighty, holy God. May our nation tremble before you; may the world know this truth. Quiet your mockers (Jeremiah 10:24-25: “Correct me, Lord, but only with justice-- not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland.”) Correct us Lord, but only with justice not in your anger lest you reduce us to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you… We stand in your presence Lord, not on any merit of our own. We stand alone on the shed blood of your one and only son, Jesus Christ. Thank you Heavenly Father, thank you Jesus. Come Holy Spirit. Forgive us, save our nation. Amen.

    Or is all of this to “old fashioned” for us “modern men”?

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