v 16. Our food disappears before our very eyes.
No joyful celebrations are held in the house of our God.
Look what we have come to!
Or as we might have written recently:
All the food has gone from the Supermarket shelves
And there are no songs of worship in our closed church buildings.
So we have come to long queues waiting to go into the shops, the basic necessities are in short supply, and many fields remain unploughed. The sheep and horses are nibbling at short, tough grass, and people barely nod to each other as they pass at 2 metres distance. The schools are closed and children have to play in their houses, parents struggle to teach their children basic mathematics, and long-retired medics are pressed into service again.
Life has changed so much – and dare we ask the ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’?
The scientists struggle to explain what happened in Wuhan to set this pandemic in motion, and researchers labour to invent an antidote, or preventative vaccine. But dare we ask if God has anything to say about our circumstances.
Perhaps we can say no more than the Psalmist ‘Lord, help us! ‘ (v 19)
Joel gives us no answer as to how the people reacted to his message from God. His little book of prophecy says not a word about whether the people were changed in any way by these events.
Have the events around the Coronavirus pandemic changed you in any way? Maybe your house is better decorated, or your garden more orderly, or you’ve read some of those books you always promised yourself you would, or you have prayed more often from the heart?
Challenge yourself with these questions – God does want to talk with us about what has happened, and how we might be changed for the better.