Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

Today’s Reading: Joel 1

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A view from the top of Masada. The “snake path” seen in the centre of the photograph was the only access to this mountain fortress until the installation of the cable car. Masada represents the war-torn history of the Jewish people. Joel 2:3 speaks of “a desolate wilderness.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Joel 1:14,19a

Declare a holy fast;

call a sacred assembly.

Summon the elders

and all who live in the land

to the house of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

…O Lord, to You I cry out!

 

When in trouble “CRY OUT!” There are two ways to do this: (1) In a sacred assembly together with the elders (leaders of the church) in fasting and prayer. And (2) In our personal prayer times. According the the prophet Joel, when hungry and thirsty, even the “beasts of the field” (cattle, etc.) “cry out” to the Lord! Cattle will “bawl” when they are hungry or thirsty.

Joel reminds his hearers of a time in the past when chewing, swarming, crawling locusts descended on their land and stripped away in hours every vestige of plant life. The people had no refrigeration, no freezers, and no canned foods such as we have in today’s developed world. Yes, they probably had stored in advance some grain products and dried foods, but they were in big trouble! These people knew what to do! No doubt they had sung Psalm 50 from their hymnbook, the Psalms. The Temple worship leader, Asaph, had composed a song of worship in which God says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15).

The theme of disaster runs throughout Joel’s book. There are the locust plagues, famine, raging fires, invading armies, and fearful phenomena in “the heavens” (cosmos). But Joel does not give way to despair. Hopeful promises from God are interspersed between pronouncements of the judgments which the people have brought on themselves.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I am blessed with food and drink in abundance; some of these provisions are the result of modern technology along with the plants that You have created. But modernity has also brought with it bigger troubles than ever, it would seem. I think about today’s world and I cry out to You! I pray the promises You have made to humanity and to me personally. As Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, reminded me, You said, O Lord, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). I cry out to You in the Name (the Person) of the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The “Crossroads” ministry has received well over 10 million telephone calls from people crying out to the Lord, with the help of our prayer partners. Through the years, we have referred to Jeremiah 33:3 as God’s telephone number (“Call to me and I will answer you…”). I’ve called 1-866-273-4444 (our 24/7 prayer line) from home, on the road, and even from my office upstairs, when I was President, to the Prayer Ministry Centre in times of trouble. What a blessing! Jesus said, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

When Joel says that even the beasts of the field “cry out” to the Lord, I thought of the many times when, as a teenager, I would do chores for a local farmer. I would arrive at the barn to find the cows bawling for their morning supply of hay. I would oblige them and while they munched contentedly, I would help to milk them. There is a branch of philosophy that says, “Learn from the animals.” Many times over the years I’ve “bawled” and would “cry out” to the Lord! The way I bawled did not sound like the cows, but it surely was an indicator of the fervency level of my prayers. James wrote, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” (James 5:16b). The righteous part I leave for God to judge, and I claim that promise from God.

Yours for “crying out” loud, if we feel we need to (and we don’t bother others too much!),

David

20 thoughts on “Wednesday, April 1, 2020

  1. Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
    Samuel Longfellow (1864)

    “Holy Spirit, truth divine,
    dawn upon this soul of mine.
    Voice of God and inward light,
    wake my spirit, clear my sight.

    Holy Spirit, love divine,
    glow within this heart of mine.
    Kindle every high desire,
    purify me with your fire.

    Holy Spirit, power divine,
    fill and nerve this will of mine.
    Boldly may I always live,
    bravely serve, and gladly give.

    Holy Spirit, law divine,
    reign within this soul of mine.
    Be my law, and I shall be
    firmly bound, forever free.

    Holy Spirit, peace divine,
    still this restless heart of mine.
    Speak to calm this tossing sea,
    grant me your tranquility.

    Holy Spirit, joy divine,
    gladden now this heart of mine.
    In the desert ways I sing –
    spring, O Living Water, spring!”

    “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
    John 4:24 NIV

    Holy Spirit, Truth Divine (Hymns Of Praise)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToaAMDwoq2Q

    • Wish I could write like that.He used simple words but much more skilfully and done with reverent praise.Great song of praise too.Thanks again,Beverlee.God bless
      Show Them

      Show them mercy,that they can repent,
      Show them understanding for all are with sin,
      Show them My love that is heaven sent
      Show them the path to walk within.

      Show them kindness so that they can learn,
      Show them you are a light that I made to burn
      Show them My grace that no one must earn
      Show them truth that they may then turn.

      Show them your faith then I will give more,
      Show them they must get up after every fall,
      Show them to search out what they look for,
      Show them that I help one and all.

      When you show them the light to walk in,
      Then you are blessing Me with all of your love
      And your light fishes for souls to win,
      While sharing My light from above.
      G W Marshall / January 09, 2014

      • I always post a poem the first of the month, Bill and have been doing that for quite some time. Glad you liked it. In future, could you kindly not post a poem on top of one of my poems, or posts? I really like my posts to remain their own and your poems to remain your own. I am not trying to be unkind. I like my own space and feel rather smothered at times. Thank you for understanding. God bless you.

  2. Beautiful hymn and poem, Beverlee and Bill, and our subject today of Crying Out couldn’t be better time for this present day. As we cry out to our Father, for healing, true repentance, restoration and deliverance around this world, we know that He hears us and He will answer. Yes, Lord, thank You for caring for us! Thank you for Your mercy!

  3. It is a beautiful sunny morning here in mid western Ontario. I’m feeling very blessed today. This day 14 of our self isolation. Tomorrow, God willing I will be going to grocery store.
    Thank you for the poems and music, Beverlee and Bill. I enjoyed them very much.
    I have been praying for those who have been impacted by the virus. God is in control and He has a plan.
    May God bless each and everyone reading our blog today.

  4. Unbelievable how the world has come to a halt. Has God got our attention? I pray that the church rise up. Amen to all comments!

    • Agree with you, Al. May the church lead the way in repentance and crying out to God for mercy .

      Today’s reading is so relevant for the current global situation. The Word of God is indeed alive and active!
      Oh saints! Let us call on our God with fervency on behalf of our families, our country, our world. Today’s reading talks about prayer and fasting. Let’s do that believing that God will show us His Mercy.
      People have forgotten Him and even denied His existence , however, we can appeal to His great mercy which is everlasting!

  5. Amen saints to all your posts. Yes Joel sounds like it is very much written for this present day. Sounds like God is very much in control now as then when Joel wrote this book and He is calling for repentance. Oh Lord grant our families, our communities, our country and this world repentance in Jesus Name as this looks like a foreshadowing of the Second Coming.

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