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~ Day Forty-Three ~
No Other Name
The Book of Joel ~ Chapter One
"Hear this, you elders,
and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land!
Has anything like this happened in your days,
or even in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children about it,
let your children tell their children,
and their children another generation."
(Joel 1:2, 3)
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, marking the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, and solidifying his name in history as "the monk that shook the world." This revolutionary movement in history unchained the Bible from the pulpit and put it into the hands of ordinary people to be read in their common languages and to bring about their transformation to the glory of God. "...but the word of God is not chained" (2 Timothy 2:9b). The Lord used a common vessel like Luther for His noble purposes to recover the message of justification of faith, and to bring to light the abuses in the church which hindered poor sinners from true repentance and sorrow for sin. When many in his day were putting the Word of God down, Luther picked it up and used it as a mighty sword to set men free. Luther's message, "unlocked the dungeons of the human mind, and set bondage hearts at liberty." He suffered persecution for his firm stand on the truth of the Bible, but Luther considered affliction to be "the best book in my library." Just like Job, he learned to see God's higher purposes in his suffering. May we be emboldened today to take more seriously the sacred trust we have been given in the stewardship and study of the Word of God. The Bible is the original Founding Document that shaped this great nation, and it is the rock on which our nations' liberties rest. Let us pray for God's continued grace and favor as we respond to the trumpet call to humble ourselves and seek His face and repent of our sins, so that He can perfect holiness in our hearts and bring healing to this land. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea...Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah" (Psalm 46 was Martin Luther's basis for the Reformation hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God").

"Look among the nations and watch -
be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
which you would not believe, though it were told you."
(Habakkuk 1:5)

The opening chapter of the Book of Joel reads like a headline from today's papers. Disaster had struck the land. A plague of locusts came swarming in like a vast army and brought overwhelming devastation to the nation. "What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; and what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten" (Joel 1:4). Whether this was a literal locust plague or a description of the waves of foreign armies assailing Judah, Joel was warning the people of his day to recognize that they were under God's judgment because they had disobeyed the Lord and broken their covenant with Him, and to understand that if they did not repent and reform their ways a greater devastation was soon to come upon them. "Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth" (Joel 1:5). The Lord was trying to get His people's attention by sending a preliminary plague to awaken them to future destruction if they continued down the path away from Him and His Word. The people were concerned about the severe economic crisis they were experiencing as a result of the pandemic and couldn't see past all the chaos and confusion to the true message God was sending them. Therefore, the Lord sent His servant Joel to shine the light of the Word of God into the darkness of the day and to help them understand the signs of the times and the more frightening Day of the Lord that was to come in the future. Joel carried his message to the elders of the land first to gain their support, then he went to the drunkards and pleasure-seekers to wake them up from their slumber, next he visited the farmers to confirm the breadth of the crisis, and then finally to the priests and ministers to issue a state of emergency and to call the people to humble themselves and fast and pray. Joel spread the word throughout the land. He left no stone un-turned. This was a national crisis that demanded everyone's attention. The time for entertainment and indulging in personal pleasures has come to an end. Our selfish pursuits are what brought this catastrophe upon us. All our striving for success, wealth, pleasure, and fame may have produced a small amount of temporal satisfaction and gain, but they have tragically contributed to a monumental deficit in our spiritual health as a nation. All the time we have wasted on worldly pursuits rather than on meditating on and studying the Word of God have cost us dearly. The only way we can recover from this spiritual crisis is to heed the Lord's warning through the temporal one's He has permitted, and go to our room, as our heavenly Father has told us to, and open up the Word of God and humble ourselves with prayer, fasting and repentance, and ask that He would reform our ways and consecrate our hearts more fully to His. "Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past" (Isaiah 26:20). Let us praise the Lord for the warnings He gives us to keep us from drifting far from Him (no matter how painful or prolonged they may be!), so that we will make the necessary adjustments in our course and turn back to Him with all our hearts! "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3). 

"Thus says the LORD of hosts,
"Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts,
"and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts.
"Do not be like your fathers,
to whom the former prophets preached,
saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts:
"Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds." '
But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD."
(Zechariah 1:3, 4)

Read: Joel Chapter One

"Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;
wail, you who minister before the altar;
come, lie all night in sackcloth,
you who minister to my God;
for the grain offering and the drink offering
are withheld from the house of your God.
Consecrate a fast,
call a sacred assembly;
gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land
into the house of the LORD your God,
and cry out to the LORD."
(Joel 1:13, 14)

Joel had been commissioned by God to call the people back to true worship by boldly declaring the Word of God. This was the task of every true prophet who had been called by God. By using the light of the Word of God, Joel was able to bring revelation to the difficulties and trials the people in his day were facing. It is so easy to become consumed with worry and fear when natural disasters plague the land, a pandemic sweeps the globe behind closed doors, the economy takes a nose dive, and the streets fill with chaos and violence. When the ground begins to shake and the rug gets pulled out from underneath, people find it easier to point the finger of blame and pick a fight rather than turn to God and ask Him if He is trying to tell them something. How gracious the Lord is to have His ministers in the world to help guide the people out of the darkness and into the light of truth. Joel made his rounds and went to all the people in the land to awaken them to truth that God was using the present disaster to speak to them and to get their attention so they could make a change. God wasn't putting on a show to astound them, nor was He playing with them, or allowing them to be afflicted for no reason. Their rebellion and sin, like ours, is serious business - it was time to remedy the error of their ways. "For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good work toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart, and I will bring you back from your captivity" (Jeremiah 29:10-14a). All their modes and methods of offering and sacrifices had been ravaged from the land. The fruits of the vine and the grains from the fields had been devastated. All they could bring was a true heart of worship and repentance, and that was exactly what the Lord was after. "Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers before the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your God. Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God and cry out to the LORD" (Joel 1:13, 14). Just as indulgences were unacceptable in order to "buy" forgiveness in Martin Luther's day, our ritual observances, man-made traditions, and lukewarm lip service will not earn God's forgiveness (Isaiah 29:13, 14). "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matthew 9:13). The only path to restoration and true blessedness is to return to the Lord with all our hearts and seek Him as true penitents with godly sorrow for our sins. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation" (2 Corinthians 7:10a). Let us humble ourselves, seek His face, and pray and repent! "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).
"For the earnest expectation of the creation
eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility,
not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from
the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty
of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans
and labors with birth pangs together until now."
(Romans 8:19-22)

"LORD, I know that You can do everything,
and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You."
(Job 42:2)

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A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing
Our Helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He
The Lord of hosts His name, from age to age the same
And He must win the battle

And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure
One little word shall fell him

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still
His kingdom is forever

Martin Luther, 1529
Thank you for traveling with us through the Book of Job
but our 45-day MAGNIFY journey is not over!

The Lord has been preparing our hearts,
just as He did with His servant Job,
for this time of intercession.

Join us for 3 days of prayer, fasting, and repentance
October 31st through November 2nd
The Book of Joel
as we submit to the righteous rule of God's Divine Government
and intercede as the elect in this election season
for the righteousness of the Branch of the Lord
to permeate every branch of government
and the hearts of the people, and heal this land.
"For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver,
the LORD is our King; He will save us" (Isaiah 33:22).

"Blow the trumpet in Zion,
consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly;
gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing babes;
let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
and the bride from her dressing room.
Let the priests, who minister to the LORD,
weep between the temple 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 2:15-17)
Be sure to make your VOTE count this Tuesday, November 3rd!

When you are biblically-correct, then you are politically-correct!
Vote Biblical Values!

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
~ John Adams, To the Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798

Read the Party Platforms HERE

"It is error alone which needs the support of government.
TRUTH can stand by itself."
~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia
"Indeed we count them blessed who endure.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord -
that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" (James 5:10).
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Read about 2020
The Year of Divine Government
IF My people will humble themselves
and PRAY
A Pandemic Prayer Proclamation
Read more HERE
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to cultivate within the heart of the believer a disciplined life of holiness, prayer, and deepening intimacy with our Lord Jesus Christ.


Setting the World on Fire for Christ ~ One Heart at a Time!
MAGNIFY No Other Name
A 45-day devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Books of Job and Joel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version,
copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.