Joel 2:15-17 (JDV)
Joel 2:15 Blow a ram’s horn bugle in Zion! Commit to sacred fast; proclaim an assembly.
Joel 2:16 Gather the people; commit the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the infants, even babies nursing at the breast. The groom should leave his bedroom, and the bride her honeymoon chamber.
Joel 2:17 The priests, Yahveh’s ministers, should weep between the porch and the altar. They should say: “Have compassion on your people, Yahveh, and do not make your inheritance a disgrace, an object of scorn among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God? ‘”
inclusion for a purpose
Inclusion is a big idea in the workforce today, and I agree with that principle. A diverse team can be a healthy and productive team. But when the prophet calls on his nation to include everyone in the assembly, it is for a specific purpose. The whole nation needs to come together and beg God to restore them, and to protect them from the coming invasions. But the purpose is deeper than that. The disasters coming upon the nation – in an honor/shame culture – reflect upon the existence and power of God. They make God appear weak, and helpless to protect his people. Since his reputation is at stake, God is seeking all his people to come together and change their destiny through concentrated combined prayer.
Lord, thank you for the opportunity we have to assemble in your name, and seek your rescue. Thank you for including everyone in that opportunity.