ODJ: where’s God?

August 19, 2014 

READ: Joel 2:17-27 

I am among my people . . . I am the LORD your God (v.27).

On the homepage of a website I discoveredrecently, all the global natural disasters for the current year are graphically presented on a world map. Icons reveal landslides, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, erupting volcanoes, windstorms and more. It’s sobering to see the number of natural disasters that affect people around the globe!

As we turn our eyes to the minor prophet book of Joel, we find a natural disaster that adversely affected the people of Judah. Locusts had covered their land, “cutting”, “swarming”, “hopping”, and “stripping”—“a terrible army too numerous to count” (1:4,6). The food disappeared and the people felt more than just hunger pangs; they felt the dark, dreadful pangs of despair (vv.11,16).

The prophet wrote that the crisis could have even led to foreigners sneering at Judah’s plight and saying, “Has the God of Israel left them?” (2:17). In other words, God’s people asked, “Where’s God? Why has this happened 
to us?”

When we face trials and big challenges such as natural disasters that test our faith, we can also be tempted to doubt God. But Joel reveals some things about God that bring comfort in the midst of crises: Firstly, God meets our needs. He promised to send what was needed to “satisfy [the] needs” of Judah, and He will meet our needs too (v.19; Philippians 4:19). Secondly, God remains faithful. We can rejoice in Him and His faithful care for us (Joel 2:23). Thirdly, God is with us. He told Joel that He was “among [His] people” and that He remained “the LORD [their] God” (v.27). Likewise, He will never fail or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5).

When the “locusts” of life threaten to overwhelm you, remember: God is there. Tom Felten

365-day plan› John 11:37-57

Read Psalm 89:8 and consider what it says about God and why you can count on Him.
What has caused you to think, Where’s God? How has He proved His faithfulness to you?