How to Respond to Global Crisis (Joel 2:12-17)

God’s Government Through Corporate Intercessory Worship

God has given the human race great dignity. We have a free will, which means we have been given the ability to make real choices that make a real difference. These choices for righteousness or for sin will bring either blessing or evil to us and those around us. If we choose righteousness, then we have the power to open doors of blessings on others. Not only that, but man’s free will provides the legal entry point for both angels and demons to be much more active in the natural realm. When we live in righteousness, we open up legal access for angelic activity into the natural realm. When people live in rebellion, they open up legal entry points for demonic activity to be heightened. We affect the quality of life by what we do with our free will. Some of our choices now will affect us forever.

God governs the universe in intimate partnership with His people through intercession. The majesty and mystery of intercession is seen first and foremost in Jesus’ relationship with the Father. The Father’s power and blessing is released to the nations and on His people as Jesus makes intercession for them throughout eternity.

He [Jesus] always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25)

[The Father said to Jesus]… Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. (Ps. 2:8)

The prayer room is the governmental center of the universe. God has chosen to release His power through our prayers. Prayer transcends time and distance. Paul could change the church in Ephesus through his prayers while he was in prison in Rome. In the same way, we can change the cities of the earth through our prayers in our local prayer meetings.

God has already determined the primary events in His eternal plan (second coming of Jesus, Jesus reigning over the whole earth as King, Satan being cast into the lake of fire, the establishing of the new heavens and earth, etc.). Regardless of what people or demons do, God will accomplish the main events of the plan He has determined for the future.

However, He has chosen to give His people a dynamic role in determining some of the measure of the “quality of life” that we experience in the natural and in the Spirit (in time and eternity). We make significant contributions in the quality of life. We determine this based on our response to the grace of God in our partnership with Him (particularly in prayer and meekness).

He opens doors of blessing and closes doors of oppression in response to our prayers. There are blessings that God has chosen to give, but only if His people rise up in the intimate partnership of prayer to ask for them. Jesus will continue to run the world this way even after the second coming.

You do not have because you do not ask. (Jas. 4:2)

This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. (Mt. 17:21)

God is waiting for our persistence in prayer before Him. Isaiah taught that He longs to release His grace and power, but actually waits until He hears the cry of His people in intercession.

The LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on High to have compassion on you … 19 He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isa. 30:18-19; NAS)

Ezekiel taught that God searched for one who would stand in the gap between Himself and Israel, someone who would pray in a way that would cause God’s judgment to be withheld. God could not find such a person and destroyed the land. The power of intercession is awesome as it determines the course of the nations of the earth.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezek. 22:30)

When God was angry with Israel because of her sin, Moses stood in the gap between Israel and God in prayer. God actually relented, or changed His plan, and did not destroy the nation. Moses’ intercession resulted in God showing His mercy instead of judgment. This is amazing.

The LORD said to Moses, “… indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them …” 11 Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “… turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people …” 14 So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people. (Ex. 32:9-14)

Corporate Intercessory Worship

Corporate intercessory worship is the primary means God has chosen to release His government (power) in His relationship with Jesus and His redeemed. It is the highest expression of government in time and eternity, and the most powerful weapon that exists. It is far stronger than the combined strength of all the nuclear weapons on earth. Many who love their communion with God in prayer do not yet have a revelation of the authority they have in intercession. Many worship leaders love Jesus and music, yet they do not have a revelation of the authority of corporate intercessory worship.

God’s primary call to a nation in crisis is to gather in solemn assemblies (Joel 2:12-17). In other words, corporate intercessory worship is what we need most in this hour of history.

Corporate – God is looking for prayer that is corporate. It requires humility to embrace all that is implied in gathering corporately. The differences between worship and prayer styles, doctrinal emphases, as well as our personalities, make humility necessary if we are to gather together in a regular way. When Jesus warned of praying in public (Mt. 6:5-7), He was rebuking a wrong spirit in us that desires to make a show of our superior dedication. He was not commanding His people to refuse to gather together for public prayer.

Intercessory – God is looking for prayer that is intercessory. Intercessory prayer stands in the gap for others as we declare back to God what God promised to do for His people. It is not enough for us to only pray to express our personal devotion to Him. We must lift our voice in intercession for others.

Worship – God is looking for prayer that is based in worship. Prophetic music and song unifies God’s people in a unique way. Through worship, thousands can remain in unity for sustained periods of time as they feel the same truths.

Some “trust” the sovereignty of God in a non-biblical way by “trusting” God to do the role that He has assigned to us. This is not truly trusting God, but is presumption before Him. We cannot do God’s part and He will not do our part. Some misapply the truth that if God wants something then He will do it. This is true in some of the broad strokes of how He leads history. However, there are many things that God will not give us until we walk it out practically with faith and obedience. Significantly, God wants all to be saved, but it does not happen because God will not violate our free will in our salvation (2 Pet. 3:8-9)

These three components together form corporate intercessory worship, which releases God’s judgment and blessing, and halts the destruction of the enemy.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, 7 To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; 8 to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 to execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD! (Ps. 149:6-9)

Corporate intercessory worship stops destruction. When the nations of Moab and Ammon came to battle against Jerusalem under King Jehoshaphat’s leadership, he gathered Israel in corporate intercessory worship and God destroyed the enemy.
Jehoshaphat … set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 18 All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19 Then the Levites … stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high. 21… he [Jehoshaphat] appointed those who should sing to the

LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (2 Chr. 20:3-4, 18-22)

The Response that God Requires: Solemn Assemblies

“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him …? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; 16 gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes … 17 Let the priests … weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, “spare Your people, O LORD…” (Joel 2:12-17)

God’s primary call to a people in crisis is to gather together for solemn assemblies, that is, for prayer, worship, fasting, and to repent of our sins, asking God to release His great power and mercy on our behalf. In Joel 2:12-17, God tells us exactly what we are to do to receive His mercy and deliverance—we are to turn to Him in wholeheartedness.

A solemn assembly or a sacred assembly involves leaders and people joining together to repent, fast, and pray for the intervention of God’s power and mercy. In the next chapter we will study this assembly in detail.

Crying out to Jesus in a solemn assembly is a practical thing to do before and during a crisis. Jesus will release His favor and protection in response to our wholeheartedness and intercession.

His answer for today’s crisis is the same as what He spoke in Joel’s generation when a Babylonian invasion was imminent. This is the clearest passage in the Word that describes what God desires of us in times of local or national crisis. As the global drama unfolds at the end of the age, the Body of Christ has a plain road map. God is asking His people for a specific response. He does not leave us guessing as to what He desires from us. What a holy confidence this brings! We can act with certainty in times of crisis. God will shake all that can be shaken. This will back the whole world into a corner of desperation where they cannot find any solution except in Him. He will remove all our false hopes so that we hope only in Him.

Earlier Joel enjoined the people to “Come, lie all night in sackcloth” as they did two things—fast and call a solemn assembly. They were to gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord to cry out in prayer (Joel 1:13-14). This was to be their response to the devastating effects of a locust plague and drought. In Joel 2, he calls them to the same response of fasting and prayer in light of a coming military invasion by the Babylonians. This passage doubles as a call to Israel during the future time of the Antichrist’s reign of terror.

Turn to God with Wholeheartedness

Now therefore, says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning. 13 Rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD…’ (Joel 2:12-13)

God wants our hearts and our love (Mt. 22:37). This reveals His heart. He requires that we respond to His love for us by loving Him in return. He delivers us as we give our hearts to Him as an offering of love. What does it look like to turn to Him with all our heart? Turning to God in wholeheartedness involves repenting, fasting, and praying.

The very existence of mankind is because God loves us and desires a deep relationship with us.

The place of safety in the time of judgment is in the midst of a company of people living in long-term, corporate wholeheartedness. As we respond to Jesus’ work on the cross with a response of wholeheartedness, we walk in God’s favor in a time of judgment.

I want to be in the midst of a people who are developing a corporate, long-term history in wholeheartedness. I believe that corporate wholeheartedness is the safest place on the earth.

Joel defined what turning to God looks like. Turning to God with all our hearts involves fasting, weeping, and mourning before the Lord.

Joel 2:12-17 and Joel 1:13-14 exhort God’s people to take action and change their lifestyles.

Rend Your Heart and not Your Garments

So rend your heart and not your garments; return to the Lord your God… (Joel 2:13)

Traditionally, in the generation that Joel prophesied, the people would tear their garment to show their grief and desperation. However, what God desires is the tearing of the heart, which speaks of dealing radically with the matters of the heart.

To rend means to tear something violently or forcibly. When we violently tear our heart away from areas of sin, we line up with what God requires. Joel cried out, “Tear your heart open! Spare not!” We must remove every area in our life that quenches the Holy Spirit! Speaking symbolically of this radical tearing, Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” (Mt. 5:29). This refers to a radical pursuit of obedience that tears the heart in the process.

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out … for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mt. 5:29)

Tearing the heart is the part that is most overlooked in the process. It is intensely personal and painful. The Lord will help us in this. Yet we must cooperate with Him, by tearing open the inner places of our heart to Him. Some want the Lord to cause their problems to evaporate without any cost, struggle, or pain in tearing their hearts.

We cannot pursue wholeheartedness in a casual way. Some hope for a wholeheartedness that is gentle, easy, and tame. Our hearts must be torn from areas in which we live in persistent compromise.

Jesus tore His heart when He went to the cross. God the Father’s heart was torn when He gave Jesus’ life away and it continues to be torn in His patient longsuffering with His people as they refuse Him. He tears His own heart in His pursuit after us. He has proved that He does not love us in a detached, distant way. To fully enter into this love, our own hearts must be torn.

Repenting With Confidence in God’s Tender Heart: A 5 Fold Revelation

Return to the Lord … for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent…? (Joel 2:13-14)

Joel summons the people to return to the Lord, giving five reasons why this is doable and wise. God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm. He desires to make a way of deliverance. The knowledge of God’s heart for us gives us courage to tear our hearts in repentance. If we take one step toward Him, He will take ten steps toward us.

First, the Lord is gracious in that He evaluates us differently than anyone else does. He remembers our frailty and that we are but dust (Ps. 103:14). He is not a harsh leader. He is not like the angry coach or parent who rejects weakness. God’s style of relating is human-friendly. The grace of God puts His requirements within the reach of the weak (1 Jn. 5:4; Mt. 11:30). Some do not turn to the Lord because they do not understand that He is gracious and kind and that He will make a way of deliverance for us. He will help us like the shepherd helped the lost sheep, carrying us to the place of breakthrough and victory (Lk. 15).

He has not dealt with … nor punished us according to our iniquities. (Ps. 103:10) For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (Ps. 103:14)

Second, the Lord delights in mercy. He enjoys what is awakened in us when we understand that He gives us a new start after each failure. We soon realize that there is no one like Him!

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity … because He delights in mercy. (Mic. 7:18)

Third, the Lord is slow to anger and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11). God is not easily provoked with our weakness. He longs to forgive all who ask for it.

Say to them: “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezek. 33:11)

Jesus spoke of His great patience to the church in Thyatira. He gave them time to repent of their immorality, and He does the same for us.

Because you allow … Jezebel … to teach … My servants to commit sexual immorality … 21 I gave her time to repent of her immorality … 22 indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent… (Rev. 2:20-22)

Fourth, the Lord has great kindness. When we believe in God’s kindness, we have confidence to press into full repentance. We can ask Him to help us repent. Our repentance will never be met with rejection. This gives us the courage to tear our hearts, knowing that God desires to restore our fellowship with Him.

Do you despise the riches of His goodness [kindness], forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness [kindness] of God leads you to repentance? (Rom. 2:4)

Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. (Ps. 18:35)

The Lord is so kind that He will forgive and forget our sin if we will repent of it.

Fifth, the Lord relents from doing harm. God desires to relent from the judgment that the nations deserve. When a people repent, He sends blessing to that region.

Return to the Lord … for He is gracious … He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:13)

The Lord Relents From Sending Judgment

Return to the Lord … for He is gracious … He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:13)

I sought for a man … who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezek. 22:30)

God desires to relent, or to cancel the decree of judgment, instead of issuing it.

There are two stages in God’s decrees: First, the decree is established in the heavenly court. Second, it is issued as God releases angels to execute the judgment, or else the decree is canceled.

Gather yourselves together … 2 before the decree is issued … before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you … 3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth … it may be that you will be hidden [protected from judgment] in the day of the LORD’s anger. (Zeph. 2:1-3)

In response to our prayer, God changes what He releases in our lives. The end result of a coming disaster can be changed (Gen. 18:22-32; Ex. 32: 9-14; 2 Sam. 12:15-23; 24:10-14; 2 Chr. 34:22-28; Jer. 18:7-10; 51:6-8; Ezek. 18:21, 22, 28; 33:10-14; Dan. 4:29; Amos 5:1-3,14-15; 7:1–6; Zeph. 2:1-3; Hab. 3:16-19; Jon. 3:4-10; Mal. 3:16-4:6).

One of the great examples of God’s willingness to relent is found in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Upon learning of God’s intentions to judge the city, Abraham asked the Lord if He would relent and save it if there were only fifty righteous people in it. The Lord told Abraham that He would, so Abraham pressed the question to forty-five people, then forty, then thirty, then twenty. Finally, Abraham said, “If there were only ten righteous in the city, would You spare them?” Again the Lord told Abraham that if He found as few as ten people who would agree with His heart, that would be enough to relent and save the city (Gen. 18:22-33).

There are three steps in our partnership with God. First, God initiates what He wants by declaring it in His Word and stirring our hearts. Second, we respond in obedience and prayer to God’s initiative. Third, God answers our responses by releasing more blessing that He would otherwise have withheld if He had not heard our cry. Our prayers matter, even when we do not feel their power.

Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we receive the gift of righteousness. We respond to this with a commitment to walk in righteousness. Therefore, we can receive God’s favor (2 Cor. 5:17-21).

Who Knows?: The “Perhaps of God”

So rend your heart … for He is gracious … and He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him…? (Joel 2:13-14)

Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth … seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be [perhaps] that you will be hidden [protected] in the day of the LORD’s anger. (Zeph. 2:3)

There is what I refer to as “the perhaps of God” in God’s plans. Perhaps God may respond to our prayers in such a way that He will not send the judgment that has been decreed.

God desires to turn from judgment and leave a blessing. He prefers to transform a would-be disaster zone into a revival center. The Lord relents from judgment in geographic areas according to the response of His people. He invites us to trust His heart, press into Him in prayer, and rest in the assurance that He is far more merciful than we could imagine.

In Joel’s day, in light of the Babylonian invasion that Israel faced, God invited them to cry out to Him that perhaps He would provide pockets of mercy in the midst of the invasion.

Joel spoke of the blessing that the Lord might leave behind in the grain and drink offerings. He was saying in essence that if the Babylonian invasion happened the crops would be utterly destroyed. Then, there would be no grain or wine for the offerings to the Lord.

David knew about this “perhaps” of God after he sinned with Bathsheba. She bore a son. Nathan prophesied to David that the baby would die because of his sin. David knew the baby might die, but he also knew that God has such mercy that “perhaps” He would spare the child.

David pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground … 18 On the seventh day … the child died. David … anointed himself … and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. His servants said, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’” (2 Sam. 12:16-22)

Gather the People and Sanctify the Congregation

Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; 16 gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes… (Joel 2:15-16)

How should we respond to the danger that we see arising in the earth? The Lord has given us a clear and effective plan through the prophet Joel. It will take faith to carry it out.

We are to blow the trumpet in Zion to call a solemn assembly. We assemble the elders who will then gather the people to pray and fast. Fasting positions our hearts to experience the grace of God in a greater way.

Blow the trumpet in Zion – boldly proclaim the coming judgment and the solemn assembly.

Consecrate a fast – fasting positions our hearts to experience the grace of God in a greater way.

Call a sacred or solemn assembly – gatherings that are sacred in their priority to our schedules. It is no time for business as usual in the way that the leaders conduct their ministries.

Gather the people and children and assemble the elders – the children are to be part of this gathering. God’s exhortation is that no one be exempt from crying out to Him, since none of these will be exempt from the coming crisis and judgment.

Sanctify the congregation – when we sanctify people under our leadership, we lay aside ministry programs to make seeking God the top priority in terms of time, money, and work force.

Joel used three different words to emphasize the sacredness of prioritizing them. He urged them to consecrate times of fasting, to see the gathering or assemblies as sacred, and to sanctify the congregation. To sanctify a congregation means to present it as a top priority to the people in that congregation. Joel called the people to see the meetings as sacred (Joel 2:12-15). This refers to both having a sacred attitude in the prayer meetings and to it being sacred in prioritizing of our time to attend. In other words, they were to approach them with a serious attitude—an attitude of it being important to their schedule.

One dictionary defines sacred as referring to something dedicated to God for religious purposes, or to reverently dedicate it exclusively to a single use because it is worthy of great respect, or is something a person holds to be important and, thus, has a transformative effect on their lives and destinies. To be sacred is in contrast to being secular (such as sacred music). It is to reverently dedicate.

Seeing an activity as sacred can be applied in two ways—first, seeing it as holy in the sense of being directly connected to God in a unique way such as the sacred Scriptures; and second, to see it as very important to us instead of being optional or casual. We follow through on our commitments to God when we see them as important to God. Thus, they are sacred or important to us.

Give Yourself to Earnest Prayer

Let the priests who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” (Joel 2:17)

Joel continues to describe the wholehearted response that God desires by emphasizing the necessity of earnest prayer. We cry out for His visitation of mercy with earnestness of heart.

Joel calls the priests (the leadership) to actively lead the people in earnest prayer and then gives them two specific prayers to bring to God.

First, “Spare Your people, O God!” This is a prayer that God would release protection, provision, and direction that His people might be helped in light of the crisis.

Second, “Do not give Your heritage to reproach that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is your God?’” Joel urged them to pray to stop the Babylonian military invasion so that the nations would not rule over Israel. The prayer was that God would spare Israel from Babylon. One reason Joel gave to pray was so that other Gentile nations would not mock Israel because God was no longer in their midst to bless and protect them.

Some commentaries see the military invasion of Joel 2:1-9 as merely a reiteration of the locust invasion of Joel 1. However, in this prayer, Joel points to a crisis involving a military invasion rather than a natural disaster brought on by locusts. This prayer was not asking God to stop locusts from devouring their crops. This prayer helps us to know the context of Joel 2:1-9.

We may use a secondary application of this prayer by asking the Lord to spare the Church from spiritual barrenness and powerlessness so that unbelievers would not mock God’s people, as if God was not real to us. We beseech God to vindicate His people for the sake of His name! He delights in bringing glory to Jesus’ name by answering the prayers of the saints, showing Himself to be active in their midst.

Unbelievers reason that if there is no power in the Church, then God is not listening to our prayers. Therefore, if God does not listen to us then why should they? We cry out that God would take away reproach for us by empowering us. The nations will be provoked in seeing an anointed victorious Church.

The Response God Requires

The central idea of Joel 2:12-17 is that God wants to deliver His people. He desires to show compassion and to release His power. Therefore, He has given us clear instruction. Joel 2 offers us the clearest direction in the Scripture as to how we receive God’s mercy amidst a crisis. He wants us to have faith or confidence in the time of crisis.

God is looking for a specific response from His people in time of trouble. He does not leave us guessing as to what this response looks like that He desires. Joel 2:12-17 tells us exactly what we are to do to receive His mercy and deliverance.

Examples of Responding to God in Humility and Avoiding Judgment

In the days of the young King Josiah, a prophetess named Huldah worked in the king’s court as a keeper of his wardrobe. Josiah learned that she had a prophetic anointing. Therefore, he sent word to her, asking her to inquire of the Lord for him. She pointed out to him that God promised through Moses to destroy Israel if they rejected God (Deut. 28:47-64). Josiah humbled himself when he received Huldah’s word. Josiah’s humility was further seen in that he, as the most powerful man in the nation, asked for spiritual help from a keeper of his wardrobe.

Thus says the Lord God, “Tell the man [King Josiah]… Behold, I will bring calamity on this place … all the curses that are written in the book [Deut. 28:47-52] … because they have forsaken Me … therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place … but as for the king … speak to him, Thus says the LORD, … because your heart was tender … and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you. Surely … you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place [Jerusalem] and its inhabitants.” (2 Chr. 34:23-28)

The primary prophet in Josiah’s day was Jeremiah who prophesied of the Babylonian invasion of Israel. Josiah received his ministry. The Lord had been prophesying of the Babylonian military invasion for several decades through prophets like Joel, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah and even as far back as Isaiah (over 100 years earlier).

Josiah responded to these prophecies in a deep way. He led a partial spiritual reform before the Babylonian captivity. God saw his tenderness and wholeheartedness. The Lord answered because his heart was tender and because he humbled himself before God (2 Chr. 34:27). The Lord decided to delay the judgment of the Babylonian invasion until after Josiah’s lifetime. Josiah died in 609 BC, around the time of Joel’s ministry. The invasion began in 606 BC.

Ahab was one of the most evil kings in Israel’s history. He humbled himself in a time of judgment and received mercy. This is an amazing example of how far God’s mercy will reach.

There was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness … 26 He behaved very abominably in following idols … 27 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. 28 The word of the LORD came to Elijah saying, 29 “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.” (1 Kgs. 21: 25-29)

Manasseh was also one of the evil kings in Israel’s history. He humbled himself and received God’s mercy during a time of judgment (2 Chr. 33:9-13). Earlier in Manasseh’s life, the Scripture described him as being under God’s judgment (2 Kgs. 23:26).

When he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. (2 Chr. 33:12-13)

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1 comment

  1. Mel Miller says:

    To the Author:
    The final “solemn assembly” may be that of the “first through 8th Day” of the Feast of Tabs
    following the LAST DAY of this present Age which must be a Saturday because the first and
    8th days will be a Sunday. Lev.23:36,39.

    Because “no one knows” whether the Messiah will appear to rescue His former People on
    Saturday or during the Twilight Hour (Sunday; but still the same solar day), those Saints who
    “endure (survive) to the End” must include all members of the Church when Christ “comes
    as King”. Rev.2:25-26 (Note meaning of Greek word for His COMING as King applies to all
    who endure to the “END”).