Pastor Nate Garn and the New Sermon Series
I was recently reading various reactions from friends on Facebook during this political season. As I started to get discouraged about our country I said to myself (out loud) “how gross”! We’ve become a gross, divided, violent, and unstable country. How can we go from a united country 15 short years ago on 9/11 to a country of such instability. We are even to the point of killing our own.
Sadly, we seem to be emulating the habits and practices of Israel. The only major difference is America isn’t the chosen nation of God. How scary to think how he will deal with us when he dealt with Israel so swiftly. In the Old Testament Israel had a constant practice of rebelling against God and pursuing empty gods. This eventually brought on the wrath of God. God used various ways and even enemies to punish his people. This is what we have in the book of Joel.
Introduction to the Book of Joel
For the next three weeks we will be diving into the book of Joel. This seemingly odd choice of ours could not have come at a better time for us in America.
The historical background of this small book is very difficult to pinpoint. We know that Joel’s name means “Yahweh is God”. We also know he was the son of “Pethuel”. Other than that, we don’t know much else. In fact, scholars are divided over when the book even took place. Regardless, the message of the book of Joel is loud and clear.
*God is a wrathful God.
*God desires people to repent.
*God promises to turn his wrath to blessing.
*God promises the “Great day of the Lord”.
*God promises to pour out His Spirit on humanity.
With these common themes in the book of Joel we can find incredible hope. The book begins with wrath and discipline but by the end screams of promise, hope and grace. One portion of Joel in particular gives me great hope.
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing- grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.” Joel 2:13-14
Article by Nate Garn