From the Scrolls of Joel the Prophet
While king Joash was still very young, famine broke out in the country. Queen Athaliah, and kings before her had led the people away from worshiping the Almighty. No one cared to follow the ways given by David and Moses.
I believe Joash will lead the people back to worshiping God, but this will take time.
God sent me with a warning to give the people. If they listened and turned from their wicked ways, the famine would end. Here is what God had me say:
I am writing to warn everyone of what you need to do.
Look about you at the horrible damage done by the locust. They have eaten all our crops, and what the adult locusts didn't eat, their young have devoured.
Wake up, everyone and look around you. A nation has invaded our land. It is powerful with its vast army.
Morn, turn from your wicked ways.
The vines, wheat, barley, pomegranates, palm and apple tree have all dried up or have been eaten. We will starve.
Call a holy fast, call everyone to the house of the Lord your God and cry out to the Lord.
The food has been cut off. The storehouses are in ruins. How the cattle cry for food, even the sheep are suffering.
Oh, Lord, I call out to you. Fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. The wild animals pant in want for a drink. The streams have dried up.
Blow the horns, sound the alarm.
Let all who live in the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand
Who can endure it?
"Even now," says the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning."
Tear your heart and not your clothes.
Return to the Lord your God
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger
and abounding in love.
He will stop all the trials.
Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.
1. Who is the prophet giving the warning?
2. What is happening in the land?
3. What does God want the people to do?
4. If the people obey, what will the Lord do?