Daily Devotionals

The Mountains Will Drip Sweet Wine!

Pastor Daniel Bramlett

When is the last time you read the book of Joel, or any book of the minor prophets? The minor prophets are just the smaller books at the end of the Old Testament. The major ones are larger like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. We cut ourselves so incredibly short by skipping the harder Old Testament books! These set the stage for Jesus. 

Joel describes a situation that could be mirrored today. The people have walked away from the Lord. A nationwide disaster comes to Israel. Locusts completely devastate the crops. If you can imagine, all of the vegetation is gone. All of the leaves are eaten from the trees. All of the vines in the vineyard are eaten. All the water has dried up in the creeks. No food or water is left. This puts Israel in a critical state. Joel doesn’t call for an Agriconference or a fertilizer convention. He doesn’t suggest they start drilling wells or bartering with Egypt for food. Joel says it’s time for his people to repent. 

Repent? The word means to turn, literally, to turn back to God. He suggests the locusts were a wakeup call; an opportunity to remember the Lord and His desire to move among His people. When the ancients wanted to show grief, they would tear their clothes and put ashes on their head. It wasn’t just for show. It is similar to the way we dress in black at a funeral or sit up with people after a death. God tells them, if they want to come back to Him, they will tear their hearts, not just their clothes. What did He mean? God wanted His people to see it was their sin that brings disaster of the worst kind. Crop failure is one thing. Heart failure is entirely different. Our open rebellion against God puts us in a place of disaster in epic proportions. Food will grow again, but if we harden our hearts to the Lord, we are attempting to walk out an eternity without Him. God says “Return to me with all your heart!”

There is a strong word here for the leaders of the Church. Let the ministers weep and pray “Spare your people, O Lord…Why should the nations say ‘Where is their God?’” He expects us to have a heart for more than ourselves. God expects the leaders to beg Him for the salvation of the hurting, wounded, lost peoples of the world. He knows disaster for God’s family leaves people open to question His intentions for us. Restoration and redemption leaves people with the answer. “Let the ministers weep and pray!” 

I suggest we are closer to the disaster of Joel than we think. Locusts haven’t swept our land, but sin of a much worse plague has. Our people are turning away from the Lord faster than we’ve seen in decades. We are losing an entire generation. People want nothing to do with God or the Church He calls His bride. What can we do? We can’t save anyone, but we can weep and pray for their salvation. We can’t restore anyone, heal anyone, reconcile anyone to their friend…but we can ask God to do these things. Joel tells us that He will! The prophet tells us that God promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten!

How many of us have lost years to sin? Not just moments or a few relationships, but years and many friends. How many of us are struggling even now to find joy, peace and life in the midst of the destruction our rebellion has cost us? “Come to me now,” God says, “and you will never again be put to shame.” This kind of promise is found all throughout the Bible and is lived out a million times in its pages and in the lives of faithful people since. We can trust these words! But that’s not all. 

Joel looks ahead to a day when God will pour out His Spirit, the Great Reconciler, on all peoples! This has happened! Peter quotes these words in his sermon at Pentecost! We are not the empty, lonely, forgotten people we like to think we are. God has visited us and is visiting us still! 

I pray for you today that you will know the incredible restoration God offers you in Christ. I’m speaking to believers and doubters alike. The wind of the Spirit is blowing. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! God is doing a new thing in our midst. Oh, how I pray you will know Him! 

I pray for those 25 and under today. George Barna says only 4% of this generation has a biblical worldview. That means only a small percentage of them will agree that “Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.” Only 4%! But God is changing that! He is reaching this generation in large numbers as we speak! 

As you pray for your own desert to be restored, will you pray for this generation, too? Think what would happen if 25% of them were saved this year. That’s 17 million new believers. That’s what revival and awakening brings. Will you pray for that? 

God is in the restoration business. He knows what He’s doing. Will you give Him permission to work on you heart and life?

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