Faithlife Sermons

Cry Out To God

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of Joel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:26
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When things go from bad to worse sometimes all we can do is cry out to God. We need to know that is enough. He is still God, He is still in Heaven. Even when crying out to God does not feel like enough, it is!

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1 ERIN, HER MOTHER, AND THE KIDS AND I • WERE ON A CANOE TRIP IN THE GRAND CANYON • WHEN HURRICANE IKE HIT HOUSTON. • WE GOT UP OUTTA THE CANYON AS SOON AS WE COULD • AND DROVE 27 HOURS STRAIGHT TO GET BACK TO HOUSTON. • IN LIFE WE ARE GONNA GET HIT BY STUFF • STORMS, DROUGHTS, FLOODS, LOCUST • ARE GONNA DISRUPT OUR DAILY ROUTINE • SOME ARE WORSE THEN OTHERS • WE NEED TO SEE THESE THINGS • AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAN ON GOD • TO TRUST IN HIM MORE AS WE GO THROUGH THESE THINGS • TODAY WE BEGIN A STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JOEL • TURN TO JOEL CHAPTER 1 • WE DON’T KNOW MUCH • ABOUT THE PROPHET JOEL • HE WROTE THIS BOOK SOME TIME BEFORE • THE JEWISH PEOPLE WERE EXILED TO BABYLON • HE WRITES THIS BOOK ABOUT THREE EVENTS • FIRST, HE WILL DESCRIBE A PLAGUE OF LOCUST • THAT THE NATION OF ISRAEL HAD RECENTLY FACED • THEN HE WILL TELL OF A COMING INVASION AND EXILE • LAST HE WILL TALK ABOUT DISTANT EVENT THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT JOEL 1:1–7 THE WORD OF THE LORD THAT CAME TO JOEL, THE SON OF PETHUEL: HEAR THIS, O ELDERS, AND LISTEN, ALL INHABITANTS OF THE LAND. HAS ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENED IN YOUR DAYS OR IN YOUR FATHERS’ DAYS? TELL YOUR SONS ABOUT IT, AND LET YOUR SONS TELL THEIR SONS, AND THEIR SONS THE NEXT GENERATION. WHAT THE GNAWING LOCUST HAS LEFT, THE SWARMING LOCUST HAS EATEN; AND WHAT THE SWARMING LOCUST HAS LEFT, THE CREEPING LOCUST HAS EATEN; AND WHAT THE CREEPING LOCUST HAS LEFT, THE STRIPPING LOCUST HAS EATEN. AWAKE, DRUNKARDS, AND WEEP; AND WAIL, ALL YOU WINE DRINKERS, ON ACCOUNT OF THE SWEET WINE THAT IS CUT OFF FROM YOUR MOUTH. FOR A NATION HAS INVADED MY LAND, MIGHTY AND WITHOUT NUMBER; ITS TEETH ARE THE TEETH OF A LION, AND IT HAS THE FANGS OF A LIONESS. IT HAS MADE MY VINE A WASTE AND MY FIG TREE SPLINTERS. IT HAS STRIPPED THEM BARE AND CAST THEM AWAY; THEIR BRANCHES HAVE BECOME WHITE. • JOEL OPENS WITH A PHRASE THAT MANY PROPHETS USE • “THE WORD OF THE LORD THAT CAME TO JOEL” • THESE ARE NOT JOEL’S WORDS THESE WORDS • WERE GIVEN TO HIM BY GOD • THIS MAKES HIS WORDS VASTLY MORE IMPORTANT • AND HE ADDRESSES THESE WORDS • TO THE ELDERS AND TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE IN ISRAEL • HE ASKS IF ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED • HE INSTRUCTS THEM TO TELL FUTURE GENERATIONS ABOUT THIS EVENT • HIS POINT IS THAT THE PLAGUE OF LOCUST THEY FACE • IS NOT NORMAL, IT IS NOT LIKE OTHER EVENTS • THEY NEED TO REMEMBER THIS EVENT BECAUSE • THIS EVENT IS A FORESHADOW OF SOMETHING WORSE JOEL THEN LISTS 4 LOCUSTS • SAYING THAT EACH ONE EATS • WHATEVER THE PREVIOUS ONE LEFT BEHIND • THIS MAY MEAN THERE WERE 4 WAVES OF LOCUST • OR MAYBE 4 KINDS OF LOCUST • THE TEXT IS NOT REALLY CLEAR • BUT THE POINT IS VERY CLEAR • THINGS GOT WORSE AND WORSE • THE LEVEL OF DESTRUCTION INCREASED… JOEL CALLS FOR THE DRUNKS, THE WINE DRINKERS • TO AWAKEN AND WAIL AND WEEP • THEY ARE TO DO THIS BECAUSE THE WINE HAS BEEN CUT-OFF • YAP, THE LOCUST ATE ALL THE GRAPE VINES • NO GRAPE VINES… NO GRAPES… NO WINE… • THIS IS THE FIRST GROUP JOEL MENTIONS • AND HE MAY HAVE STARTED WITH THE DRUNKS • CAUSE HE WANTS TO SHOW HOW • THE DEVASTATION INCREASES • FROM DRUNKS TO FARMERS TO PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLE… JOEL DESCRIBES THE LOCUST • FIRST JOEL CALLS THEM A NATION • SAYING THEY HAVE INVADED GOD’S LAND • HE SAYS THIS BECAUSE THE LOCUST PLAGUE • IS A SHADOW OF ACTUAL NATIONS INVADING ISRAEL • HE SAYS THE LOCUST HAVE THE TEETH OF A LION • NOW LOCUST DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE TEETH • THE POINT OF THIS IS THAT THE WAVES OF LOCUST • ARE DANGEROUS… FEARSOME… LIKE A LION • ACTUALLY, THE LOCUST DO WAY MORE DAMAGE THAN A LION • THESE LOCUST HAVE LEFT THE LAND IN A HORRIBLE STATE • JOEL SAYS THE VINEYARDS HAVE BEEN MADE A WASTE • AND THE FIG TREE IS IN SPLINTERS • ALL THE BARK HAS BEEN PEELED AWAY AND THE BRANCHES ARE WHITE • IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND… • WHEN JOEL TALKS ABOUT THE VINE AND THE FIG TREE • HE MAY BE TALKING ABOUT ALL OF ISRAEL HOSEA 9:10A I FOUND ISRAEL LIKE GRAPES IN THE WILDERNESS; I SAW YOUR FOREFATHERS AS THE EARLIEST FRUIT ON THE FIG TREE IN ITS FIRST SEASON. • BOTH THE FIG TREE AND THE GRAPE VINE • ARE USED AS SYMBOLS FOR ISRAEL BY THE PROPHETS • JOEL HAS DESCRIBED THIS TERRIBLE EVENT • WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM HIS WORDS? • FIRST, I THINK WE CAN LEARN • THAT THERE ARE ROUGH TIMES • AND THEN THERE ARE REALLY ROUGH TIMES… • THIS EVENT THEY HAD BEEN THROUGH WAS • WAS EXCEPTIONALLY HARSH • AND JUST LIKE JOEL CALLED FOR THEM • TO REMEMBER THE EXCEPTIONALLY HARSH TIME • WE NEED TO TELL OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN • THE EXCEPTIONALLY HARSH TIMES…. • DON’T HIDE FROM HISTORY, DON’T ERASE HISTORY • REMEMBER THE VASTLY DIFFICULT TIMES WE HAVE FACED • SECOND, WE MIGHT WANT TO LEARN THAT • ROUGH TIMES BUILD UP • THE LOCUST CAME IN 4 WAVES • A ROUGH TIME GOT MUCH ROUGHER • AS BAD AS THINGS LOOK NOW • WE MIGHT WANT TO KNOW • SOMETIMES THINGS GET WORSE BEFORE THEY GET BETTER JOEL 1:8–12 WAIL LIKE A VIRGIN GIRDED WITH SACKCLOTH FOR THE BRIDEGROOM OF HER YOUTH. THE GRAIN OFFERING AND THE DRINK OFFERING ARE CUT OFF FROM THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. THE PRIESTS MOURN, THE MINISTERS OF THE LORD. THE FIELD IS RUINED, THE LAND MOURNS; FOR THE GRAIN IS RUINED, THE NEW WINE DRIES UP, FRESH OIL FAILS. BE ASHAMED, O FARMERS, WAIL, O VINEDRESSERS, FOR THE WHEAT AND THE BARLEY; BECAUSE THE HARVEST OF THE FIELD IS DESTROYED. THE VINE DRIES UP AND THE FIG TREE FAILS; THE POMEGRANATE, THE PALM ALSO, AND THE APPLE TREE, ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD DRY UP. INDEED, REJOICING DRIES UP FROM THE SONS OF MEN. JOEL GIVES AN INSTRUCTION HERE • HE TELL ALL OF ISRAEL TO WAIL • NOT JUST ANY WAIL, BUT THE WAIL • OF A YOUNG BRIDE TO BE WHOSE FIANCÉ HAS DIED • HE THEN TELLS THEM THE REASON THEY SHOULD WAIL • THEY ARE TO WAIL BECAUSE THEY CAN’T MAKE • THE OFFERINGS TO GOD IN THE TEMPLE • NO GRAIN, NO WINE, MEANS NO OFFERINGS • THEY ARE INSTRUCTED TO LAMENT • SINCE THEY CAN’T COME TO GOD • THE WAY THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO COME TO GOD…. JOEL SAYS WHY THEY CAN’T MAKE THE OFFERINGS • THE FIELDS ARE RUINED, THE GRAIN IS RUINED • THE NEW WINE DRIES UP, THE OLIVE OIL FAILS • THE FARMERS ARE ASHAMED, • THE GRAPE GROWERS WAIL AND LAMENT • THEY DO FOR THEIR CROPS • THEY DO SO BECAUSE THE HARVEST OF THE FIELD IS DESTROYED • THE LIST OF THE CROPS THAT • WHICH HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IS LONG • THE GRAPES, THE FIGS, POMEGRANATE, PALM TREES • THE APPLE TREE IS LISTED, BUT THIS PROBABLY MEANS APRICOTS • HE SAYS.. ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD HAVE DRIED UP • IT SOUNDS LIKE MAYBE ALONG WITH THE LOCUSTS THEY HAD A DROUGHT • NOW, HAVE NEVER HAD CROPS I HAVE A LITTLE GARDEN • WITH A FEW TOMATO PLANTS AND A FEW PEPPER PLANTS • I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MUST FEEL LIKE TO LOSE • A FULL HARVEST, LET ALONE WHAT IT MUST HAVE FELT LIKE • FOR A NATION TO LOSE LITERALLY IT’S ENTIRE HARVEST…. • BUT ONE OF THE REASONS I PICKED THIS BOOK TO STUDY • IS BECAUSE I THINK MANY OF YOU DO UNDERSTAND • WHAT THIS WOULD FEEL LIKE • YOU GREW UP AROUND PEOPLE THAT LOST CROPS • A LOST HARVEST IS SOMETHING YOU CAN UNDERSTAND • YOU KNOW HOW THIS WOULD IMPACT THE PEOPLE • YOU GET WHY THEY ARE WAILING AND LAMENTING • FOR THESE PEOPLE THE ONLY WAY TO APPROACH GOD • WAS THROUGH A SACRIFICE • A GRAIN OFFERING AND SIN OFFERING • SO THIS LOCUST PLAGUE… THIS DROUGHT • IMPACTS NOT ONLY THEIR LIVELY HOOD • THEIR PHYSICAL LIVES • THIS EVENT AFFECT THEIR SPIRITUAL LIFE • THEIR WALK WITH GOD. • WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR • HE DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • HE ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS ASCENDED TO HEAVEN • AND SITS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER • HE IS OUR INTERCESSOR, OUR ADVOCATE, OUR MEDIATOR • WE CAN COME TO HIM ANY TIME • WE DON’T NEED TO OFFER GRAIN, OR WINE • WE DON’T NEED ANYTHING TO COME BEFORE HIM • EVEN IN OUR GREATEST DIFFICULTY • EVEN WHEN OUR CROP HAS BEEN DESTROYED • EVEN WHEN OUR HARVEST IS BARE • WE CAN COME TO HIM BOLDLY AND WITH JOY • BUT IT WAS NOT SO FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL JOEL 1:13–20 GIRD YOURSELVES WITH SACKCLOTH AND LAMENT, O PRIESTS; WAIL, O MINISTERS OF THE ALTAR! COME, SPEND THE NIGHT IN SACKCLOTH O MINISTERS OF MY GOD, FOR THE GRAIN OFFERING AND THE DRINK OFFERING ARE WITHHELD FROM THE HOUSE OF YOUR GOD. CONSECRATE A FAST, PROCLAIM A SOLEMN ASSEMBLY; GATHER THE ELDERS AND ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND CRY OUT TO THE LORD. ALAS FOR THE DAY! FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR, AND IT WILL COME AS DESTRUCTION FROM THE ALMIGHTY. HAS NOT FOOD BEEN CUT OFF BEFORE OUR EYES, GLADNESS AND JOY FROM THE HOUSE OF OUR GOD? THE SEEDS SHRIVEL UNDER THEIR CLODS; THE STOREHOUSES ARE DESOLATE, THE BARNS ARE TORN DOWN, FOR THE GRAIN IS DRIED UP. HOW THE BEASTS GROAN! THE HERDS OF CATTLE WANDER AIMLESSLY BECAUSE THERE IS NO PASTURE FOR THEM; EVEN THE FLOCKS OF SHEEP SUFFER. TO YOU, O LORD, I CRY; FOR FIRE HAS DEVOURED THE PASTURES OF THE WILDERNESS AND THE FLAME HAS BURNED UP ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD. EVEN THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD PANT FOR YOU; FOR THE WATER BROOKS ARE DRIED UP AND FIRE HAS DEVOURED THE PASTURES OF THE WILDERNESS. JOEL GIVES TWO INSTRUCTIONS HERE • THE INSTRUCTIONS IS TO THE PRIESTS • FIRST, THEY ARE TO PUT ON SACKCLOTH AND LAMENT • WAIL, TO CRY OUT TO GOD • THE REASON FOR THIS INSTRUCTION IS BECAUSE • THEY HAVE NO GRAIN OR WINE TO MAKE AN OFFERING TO GOD • SECOND, INSTRUCTION GIVEN IS TO CONCENTRATE A FAST • AND PROCLAIM AN ASSEMBLY OF THE WHOLE NATION • AND CRY OUT TO GOD • IN THE MIDST OF THIS NATIONAL EMERGENCY • THEY NEED TO TURN TO GOD • AND THEY CAN’T MAKE AN OFFERING • SO, THEY ARE TOLD TO CRY OUT TO GOD • BECAUSE AS JOEL SAYS… • THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR • AND IT WILL COME AS DESTRUCTION FROM THE ALMIGHTY • WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND • THAT THE LOCUST ARE NOT THE DAY OF THE LORD • EVEN THE ARMY THAT WILL COME IN CHAPTER 2 • IS NOT THE “DAY OF THE LORD” • I THINK JOEL POINTS OUT THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR • BECAUSE.. EVERY TIME WE FACE TRAGEDY • EVERY TIME WE FACE SUFFERING AND TRIALS • WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH MORE • SERIOUS... HOW MUCH MORE SEVERE... • HOW MUCH MORE IMPORTANT • THE ACTUAL DAY OF THE LORD IS • COMPARED TO THE THINGS WE FACE IN THIS LIFE • THE LOCUST ARE BAD.. THEY HAVE EATEN ALL THE CROPS • THEY HAVE DESTROYED ANY FUTURE HARVEST • BUT WE CRY OUT TO THE LORD CAUSE EVEN • AS BAD AS THIS IS.. THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR….. • THE DAY OF THE LORD IS BOTH JUDGMENT AND SALVATION • IT IS A DARK AND TERRIBLE DAY FOR THOSE NOT IN CHRIST • IT IS AN AWESOME AND WONDERFUL DAY • FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TRUSTED IN CHRIST JOEL EXPLAINS THE RESULTS OF THE LOCUST, DROUGHT, FIRE • THE FOOD HAS BEEN CUT OFF • GLADNESS AND JOY ARE GONE • THE SEEDS SHRIVELED IN THE DIRT • STORE HOUSES ARE EMPTY • BARNS ARE TORN DOWN • THE CATTLE WANDER AROUND WITH NOTHING TO EAT • THE SHEEP ARE SUFFERING • AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS DISASTER • JOEL SAYS “TO YOU, OH LORD I CRY” • FIRE HAS DEVOURED THE PASTURES • FLAMES BURNED UP THE TREES • THE BEAST HAVE NO WATER • AND JOEL CRIES OUT TO THE LORD… • SOMETIMES THAT ALL WE CAN DO • JUST CRY OUT TO THE LORD • THAT IS HOW THIS CHAPTER ENDS • PLAGUES OF LOCUST • DROUGHT… FIRE… • NO FOOD, UNABLE TO OFFER SACRIFICES • ALL THAT IS LEFT IS TO CRY OUT TO THE LORD • NOW, WE COULD LOOK AT THESE EVENTS • AND HOW THEY AFFECTED THE NATION OF ISRAEL • AND APPLY THEM TO OUR NATION • WE COULD TALK ABOUT HOW OUR NATION • HAS RECENTLY FACED SOME VERY DIFFICULT THINGS • FIRES, FLOODS, HURRICANES, • AND HOW WE NEED TO CRY OUT TO GOD • AND THAT WOULD BE TRUE • WE DO NEED TO CRY OUT TO GOD AS A NATION • BUT I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT THIS MORE • ON A PERSONAL LEVEL… • THE NATION OF ISRAEL WENT THROUGH • TOUGH THINGS… AND THESE TOUGH THINGS • BROUGHT THEM CLOSER TO GOD • SOMETIMES WE AS INDIVIDUALS • GO THROUGH OUR OWN PERSONAL LOCUST PLAGUE • LIFE FALLS APART, CAR BREAKS DOWN • TAXES COME DUE, JOBS END • HEALTH GOES SOUTH, HOUSE BURNS DOWN • AND IT CAN GET TO FEELING LIKE GOD HIMSELF • HAS COME DOWN AGAINST US… • AT THESE TIMES IT MAY FEEL LIKE ALL WE CAN DO • IS CRY OUT TO GOD…. • AND THE TRUTH IS THAT IS ENOUGH, • HE IS STILL GOD…HE IS STILL IN HEAVEN, • HE IS STILL SOVEREIGN • IT MAY NOT FEEL LIKE ENOUGH…. • IT MAY NOT FEEL LIKE IT IS GONNA “FIX” OUR PROBLEMS • BUT THE TRUTH IS… ITS NOT ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS GETTING FIXED • IT NEVER IS.. THIS LIFE IS NOT ABOUT FIXING PROBLEMS…. • THAT IS HARD FOR ME TO SAY CAUSE I LOVE TO FIX PROBLEMS • SO I AM GONNA SAY IT AGAIN • THIS LIFE IS NOT ABOUT FIXING PROBLEMS.. • THIS LIFE IS ABOUT TRUSTING GOD • THE POINT OF OUR EXISTENCE IN THIS WORLD • IS TO TRUST IN THE GOD THAT CREATED US.. • AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES A WALL OF PROBLEMS • TO GET US TO TRUST GOD • IT TAKES A PLAGUE OF LOCUST • IT TAKES A DROUGHT • IT TAKES ALL THE PASTURES BEING BURNED UP…. • TO GET US TO THE POINT WHERE WE WILL TRUST IN GOD… • IF THERE IS ANYONE HERE WHO HAS NOT TRUSTED • IN JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR 77
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