Joel 1   Facing Disaster

1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel.

2 Hear this, you elders;

    listen, all who live in the land.

Has anything like this ever happened in your days

    or in the days of your ancestors?

3 Tell it to your children,

    and let your children tell it to their children,

    and their children to the next generation.

4 What the locust swarm has left

    the great locusts have eaten;

what the great locusts have left

    the young locusts have eaten;

what the young locusts have left

    other locusts have eaten.

5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!

    Wail, all you drinkers of wine;

wail because of the new wine,

    for it has been snatched from your lips.

6 A nation has invaded my land,

    a mighty army without number;

it has the teeth of a lion,

    the fangs of a lioness.

7 It has laid waste my vines

    and ruined my fig-trees.

It has stripped off their bark

    and thrown it away,

    leaving their branches white.

8 Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth

    grieving for the betrothed of her youth.

9 Grain offerings and drink offerings

    are cut off from the house of the Lord.

The priests are in mourning,

    those who minister before the Lord.

10 The fields are ruined,

    the ground is dried up;

the grain is destroyed,

    the new wine is dried up,

    the olive oil fails.

11 Despair, you farmers,

    wail, you vine growers;

grieve for the wheat and the barley,

    because the harvest of the field is destroyed.

12 The vine is dried up

    and the fig-tree is withered;

the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree –

    all the trees of the field – are dried up.

Surely the people’s joy

    is withered away.

13 Put on sackcloth, you priests, and mourn;

    wail, you who minister before the altar.

Come, spend the night in sackcloth,

    you who minister before my God;

for the grain offerings and drink offerings

    are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Declare a holy fast;

    call a sacred assembly.

Summon the elders

    and all who live in the land

to the house of the Lord your God,

    and cry out to the Lord.

15 Alas for that day!

    For the day of the Lord is near;

    it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[c]

16 Has not the food been cut off

    before our very eyes –

joy and gladness

    from the house of our God?

17 The seeds are shrivelled

    beneath the clods.

The storehouses are in ruins,

    the granaries have been broken down,

    for the grain has dried up.

18 How the cattle moan!

    The herds mill about

because they have no pasture;

    even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

19 To you, Lord, I call,

    for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness

    and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.

20 Even the wild animals pant for you;

    the streams of water have dried up

    and fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness.


This is the word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God

Talk                             Matthew Foy