Have you seen a two year old fake cry? It’s kind of hilarious. They go through all the motions and make plenty of noise, but no real tears come out and they can stop it on a dime. Normally it’s when they want something or when they don’t want to get in trouble for something. Well, in today’s Joel reading, God is telling the Israelites he’s tired of their fake cry. They’re not truly repentant and he promises to restore them if and only if they have a true change of heart.
- 13-20 – Joel’s prophecy calls the Israelites to fast and repent.
- 12-13 – God is calling the people to true repentance. Instead of tearing their clothes, which was a common sign of sorrow, God is asking them to fix their hearts.
- 23-32 – The Lord promises to restore the Israelites when they repent. He promises to bless them abundantly.
- 1-16 – God now declares his judgment on nations that have acted against Israel and Judah.
- 1-11 – This section is used to confirm that John received a revelation in a dream from God that was intended to be given to seven churches. This is a vision of the end times.
- 12-20 – The number seven is prominent throughout the book of Revelation because it represents completion.
- 1-6 – Here, fearing the Lord is associated with material blessings.
- God’s visions and law keep people in line with God’s ultimate purpose for them and for the world.
This link is in the notes as well, but seriously, if you’d like Amy Grant to tell you today’s main Acts story, do yourself a favor and watch this video:
1 Kings 19:1-21:
- 8 – Moses, Jesus, and now Elijah have all experienced 40 day fasts. Notice that each of them have just experienced or are simultaneously experiencing the power and glory of God. Jesus had just been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, Moses was on the mountain with God, and Elijah had just seen God consume a bull with fire.
- 11-12 – Often we miss God’s voice and what he’s calling us to do because we’re distracted by the chaos and the big shows. At times, we must be quiet and still to hear him in the whisper.
- 14-18 – Elijah felt very alone in his faithfulness to God and even feared for his life. God made it clear that he was not alone, but that God would take care of those who had been faithful while punishing those who had not.
- 19 – Elijah putting his cloak on Elisha symbolizes a transfer of power.
- 20-21 – Elijah’s response is unclear, but Elisha takes care of a few final things and then begins his life working with and learning from Elijah.
- 3 – Passover was also when Jesus was arrested and killed.
- 6-11 – A thrilling, 80’s, musical rendition of this story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNIO9KH3UC8.
- 12-17 – They assumed that Peter would die in prison and were not expecting to see him.
- We are to love God because of his great love for us. All the things he does for us, because of his love, are icing on the cake.
- 15 – Condoning evil and persecuting good are both equally detestable to God.
Moses spends 40 days in the presence of God, fasting the entire time. Jesus, too, completed a 40 day fast. Fasting is a fairly foreign concept to us American consumers. It’s not just about powering through the time and not eating. We are supposed to allow our desire for food, or whatever we’ve given up, to remind us of our need for God. As much as we want food, we want God more.
- 10 – God makes another covenant with Israel.
- God was very explicit not to leave any remnants of other gods in their land so they weren’t tempted to worship them.
- 26 – We are called to give to God off the top. Give to him first before we buy or pay for other things.
- 28 – Jesus also did a 40 day fast.
- 30-35 – It is believed that Moses’ face shone from the glory of the Lord.
- 15-23 – It must have been so hurtful to Jesus that the crowds asked for a criminal to be released instead of him.
- Crucifixion was already a humiliating punishment, but the soldiers saw to it that Jesus was even more humiliated than normal.
- 16-17 – Just like today, people of ancient Israel put their hope in everything but the Lord.
- Wisdom is something we can all gain if willing.