Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed. The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the appletree—all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the people’s joy is withered way. Joel 1:11-12
With these verses, Joel finishes out this first section of his book. Remember that it began talking about how locusts have invaded the land. This is a picture of how sin invades our lives and destroys everything. Today, the verses complete that thought.
When sin is done with you, the only thing you’ll be left with is desolation. When our world is our focus, all we can do, when it is devastated, is despair, wail, grieve. Everything that brought us joy is gone; everything that we had counted on is gone. Crops are dead; fruits destroyed; fields are barren; joy is gone. Joel talks about this, using figurative language.
Using real language, what happens when sin has taken over your life? Depression. Anger. Crime. Violence. Hopelessness. With sin in control, you get fatherless homes. With sin running the show, you get child and sex trafficking. With sin running your life, you get lies, and abuse, and adultery, and deceit, and brokenness. With in in control, you get us.
Don’t kid yourself, my friend: on your own, sin is in control of you. It’s in your nature. It’s practically woven into your chromosomes. With sin as your foundation, there really isn’t much hope for you. Like Mr. Ollivander said in the last Harry Potter movie, “on your own, I’m afraid you really don’t stand much of a chance.”
But there is A chance; our only chance. Enter Jesus. Jesus seeks us out in our brokenness. He longs to make right the wrongs in our lives. Jesus takes us as we are (and we are ALL broken all the time without Him) and He changes us. Think of Jesus as the gene therapy for our corrupted sinful DNA. We don’t have to settle for the tawdriness and hopelessness of sin: we can do better when we let Him do better through us. When we put our faith in Him alone, He cleanses out our nature and changes our attitude. And when the consequences of bad choices come to haunt us, He stays with us, bears with us, strengthens us in our weaknesses.
With Jesus, the locusts stop their frenzied feeding and fly elsewhere. Sin has no choice but to obey Him. Without Jesus, on our own, we really don’t stand much of a chance. With Him, we cannot fail.
For more reading: Exodus 9:31, Job 6:20, Isaiah 15:6, Isaiah 17:11, Amos 5:16, Haggai 2:19, Joel 1:13
Lord Jesus, I will always fail without You. Forgive me, renew me, strengthen me, and abide with me to do Your will.
If you’d like to know more about Practical Proverbials, contact email@example.com for more information