Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Just soas you know, this is another book that I've read before, out loud, and since clean forgotten.

Even now it's hard to recall what I read earlier this afternoon. Perhaps I'm overdoing it with reading the prophets. Maybe I should read the remaining six in chronological, rather than Biblical, order? Whatever happens, writing these brief reviews for myself is seeming like a better and better idea...

Yet again I see the same pattern emerging; (Maybe because I want to see it)

1. People turn from God.

2. God tells them of their impending discipline.

3. Some people believe their impending discipline is true.

4. They realise that the only way they can get God to change his mind is to make a conscious decision to turn away from their wrongdoing.

5. As God is the source of all goodness, turning away from wrongdoing, by default, means turning towards God. There's nowhere else to turn away from wrongdoing towards.

Joel predicts the entire cycle of events, one that subsequently did play out, and that's probably an argument in favour of saying that God knew exactly what would happen in the future. That said, it could equally be an expression of hope – did everyone fall into line, or did they all make individual free will choices?

Anyway, Joel went on to predict what would happen in points 6 and 7 too...

6. Further forewarning of disciplining from God, for everyone.

7. (unclear if it's final) Judgement, for everyone.

At only 3 chapters, I'm not going to quote much from it here (and as I type this my internet connection is down so I can't get into!), but it is an encouraging pattern, that makes moral sense to me. It's also not as difficult as I've previously found it to reconcile this account of God with the more obviously loving aspects that we're told of in the New Testament.

Lastly, some pondering must go to what happened to the soldiers who had been going to invade earlier. When we first heard of them, this army sounded pretty unbeatable:

At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pail.
They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.

Joel 2:6-7 (NIV)

And yet a mere 13 verses later, after the people have turned from their wrongdoing towards God...

"I will drive the northern army far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land,
with its front columns going into the eastern sea
and those in the rear into the western sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise."

Joel 2:most of verse 20 (NIV)

I'm supposing that they each had their own disciplines in their lives to consider or ignore too.


0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **