Always be available

Have you ever considered how available you are in any given moment? Perhaps some member of the family is needing your attention or you see work that needs some action. What about God? Are you near enough that he could call you to help? If you look at all the prophets that have been called to action, you will notice that they were close enough to either say yes, I will help, or no that isn’t for me. Many of them tried to duck out of his spiritual action but it didn’t help them. Matthew 21:29-31 is a Jesus parable that is Spirit sent. A father, who is God, had work to complete in his field (our world). He asked the older son who represents (the Jews) complete his work; he agreed but didn’t complete any of it. The second son (Gentiles) was given the same opportunity. We initially said no but repented of that rebellion and now are working to complete the assignment — we are working and waiting until the father returns to his family.

In the little book of Joel, God gets right to the heart of his need: “Tell my people to remember their history.” “Open your ears and hear me.” Their present trouble is caused by disobedience and sin. Joel did not refuse to help; he was waiting to preach salvation. God has had enough from these people but his grace holds off until the next book, which is Amos. By then, the Jews had set a course that could not be rescinded, they would see the just-side of God. Through Abraham, they had made a promise to obey, worship and be his people. But time and sin was too prominent and pleasurable. What does this three-paragraphed story say to us, all these centuries later? I hope we see that God never gives up on people and his desire for us is to willingly be of service, whenever he calls. Joel could read the writing on the wall of his time. God says, “for three transgression and for four.” That was his way of saying that grace has ended and justice must happen. Joel’s nation was suffering the consequences of sin and punishment was on the way. It is eerily similar to America today. Any good preacher could stand in any city and proclaim the same message as Joel’s. Are we becoming the Israel of the past?


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