Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thoughts on the Book of Joel (in many parts); Part 3



Complete Material Overthrow and Attrition
  
“What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; and what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; and what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten” (Joel 1:4).
The thoroughness of annihilation depicted by a swarm of locusts without number landing and devouring everything in your field of endeavor is a judgment without mercy, a railing rebuke, and so momentous an occurrence as to awaken almost anyone to their responsibility before God.  And surely, because of spiritual blindness, a complete material disaster is the only type of disaster that could have awoken them to their spiritual responsibility.  The completeness of this disaster is further accentuated by the four types of locusts used to devour all the material wealth; not so much the types as the fact that there are four stages of destruction.  Four is the number of material creation, the number of all that the natural eye can discern and therefore desire; thus, when everything material is stripped away every natural desire is unrealized and utter hopelessness sets in.
An interesting insertion here about the following verse out of Revelation and its pertinence to material attrition as a form of judgment in Joel’s day, Isaiah’s day, and ours: “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east” (Revelation 16:12).  The meaning of the river Euphrates is “fruitfulness,” and is often referenced as one of the borderlines of the Promised Land; it is the fourth river mentioned in Genesis that flowed out of Eden and it signifies natural vigor or material wealth.  Isaiah (in Isaiah 8) shed light upon its significance when he spoke of the river Euphrates overflowing its banks as symbolizing the king of Assyria and all his glory overwhelming the forces of Israel and her ally Samaria.
This false hope, this unwise alliance is exactly why the judgment comes, however, and further citing Samaria’s capital, Damascus, and implicitly identifying her king Rezin, son of Remaliah as the touchstone points of Israel’s sin gives us insight as to the nature of Israel’s sin and its magnitude.  Simply put, Damascus is all about superficiality and natural sight, and Rezin, son of Remaliah is a king of bling, an entrenched beguiling over the natural glistening gems of this creation and dimension.  As Israel was becoming bewitched through their affinity with Damascus, they thought to overthrow their more spiritual brothers, Judah and the house of David.  Their trust in the arm of flesh (Samaria) dictated a judgment from a larger arm of flesh (Assyria).
In an article just weeks ago (July/August 2009) a report was made about how the Euphrates river had been literally drying up lately; fruitfulness is drying up all the way back to the Earth’s Creational inception just as death had been rolled all the way back to Adam when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan to reach the Promised Land.  The implications: Kings of the East are magicians and sorcerers, the preeminent witchcraft users of men, those who pretend to be spiritual by originating a false life, signs and wonders from within their own souls, and when the river of natural vigor dries up, they are left with little option but to be divinely led to their death in the valley of Meggido at the feet of true Israelites (internally their souls are judged at the feet of their spirits). 

In other words, a natural famine on a worldwide scale is presaging a soul famine.  Even truly spiritual people, His real people, are suffering heavily today only because they have some of this pseudo-spirituality going on inside of them.  We are currently being judged to victory or condemnation as we are all being symbolically dragged to the valley of Meggido to meet our Maker (on His turf, on His terms, on His Day).
It ought to be a joyous occasion, but alas, if we have not bought gold refined in the fire or traded off enough of our carnality to be ready for this wonderful Day of the Lord it will be a day of wailing and irredeemable loss.  This Day of the Lord destroys anything flammable (our God is a consuming fire) and the very brightness of His coming, the sheer magnitude of His brilliance, will so inflame our fragile hearts so as to purge away all natural affections to such an extreme degree that every natural heart will burst asunder and every thought of every heart will then be open and bare before God and everyone. 

The amount of pain or loss that we suffer will depend entirely upon how much we value the thoughts of our own heart and mind and how much selfishness we were still embracing and hiding from others.  Beautiful in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints; horrible and shameful in His eyes will it be if we count our present losses and sufferings to be worthy of comparison to an outshining of the Lord alone on His own day.