The heartbreaking headlines read things like:
Extent of Tennessee wildfire damage revealed; at least 13 killed
Out of the smoke has risen another headline:
BURNED BIBLE PAGE FOUND IN DOLLYWOOD FIRE
You may have already seen a picture of the burned Bible page, since it’s probably been shared a million times by now.
Isaac McCord, working at Dollywood, was cleaning a spot in Craftsman Valley with his coworker when he saw a piece of paper in a puddle.
The edges were burned, but much of the page was preserved. It was from the first chapter in the Book of Joel, King James Version, of the Bible. Verses 15, 19, 20 and chapter 2 verse 1 were clearly preserved. Isaac broke into tears after reading the passage. He transcribed what he could read as follows:
Joel 1:15 The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be!
Joel 1:19 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.
Joel 1:20 Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand
Out of, 1,189 Chapters, 23,145 verses, in the Bible, one page; a few short verses, were preserved. The content couldn’t be more relevant.
What are the odds?
Do you know what Joel was talking about?
The passage is a warning. “The day of the LORD is near…”
It’s a call to repentance. “To you, LORD, I call…”
It’s a call to unified action… “Blow the trumpet…”
The book of Joel is quoted by Peter: “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…” on the day of Pentecost. The day the Holy Spirit descended like, tongues of fire (Acts 2). It’s the day Jesus spoke about when the disciples would be “endued with Power from on High” (Luke 24:49). That day about 3,000 were saved in one sermon, by a fisherman. Many consider that day to be the start of the Christian Church.
The Hebrew name for Joel; Yo’el means: Yahweh Is God.
Joel writes about when disaster struck without warning. An ominous black cloud descended upon the land—the dreaded locust. In a matter of hours, every living green thing was stripped bare. Joel, God’s spokesman, proclaimed the plague was judgment for sin.
Yet, Joel declared, as bad as it was, future judgments will make that plague pale by comparison. In that day (which is yet to come) God will destroy His enemies, but bring unparalleled blessing to those who faithfully obey Him.
God uses Joel to say “I will restore the years…” destroyed by “My great army which I sent among you.” Even though it was your own fault, it was your own sin that caused the great army of devourers to succeed against you—even still, I will forgive; I will restore all that has been taken…even the years.
God, who never changes, still longs to restore, still calls out. Even in the midst of the burning, devouring chaos, there is hope. Although, this Scripture was written to Israel many years ago, it was also written to us, today, especially today.
Did you know that paralleling the Tennessee fires, Israel is ablaze as well? Both fires are doing the same thing. Stealing, killing, destroying. Both were caused by drought and alas, it appears the arsonist’s evil.
The fires reflect the sin ablaze in the hearts of men.
But, there's a Voice that echoes from the flames, like the burning bush, like the Dollywood scripture—the fire cannot consume. For those with ears to hear, there is an ever increasing Voice that echoes off the headlines, offering refreshing Living Water to quench the fires that rage within.
Another fire, just recently, burned in the streets and across the web, by those enraged at the outcome of the election. About that time, Leonard Cohen passed away causing his song, Hallelujah, to be shared multiplied millions of times across the country. It echoed from sea to shining sea, bouncing off the walls of burning city streets and drifted down country roads.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…
“Hallelu” – means “praise” in plural , ‘all of you praise!’
“Jah” - is one of the biblical names of God (actually it is a short name for ‘Jehovah’).
Those two words form the word “Hallelujah”, which means – ‘All of you, praise the Lord!’
It left me standing, kneeling and then weeping. It was as if I could hear angels singing over the nation, singing God’s answer to the fighting and division. All of you praise the Lord. All of you praise the Lord. All of you praise the Lord. All of you praise the Lord.
In my mind’s eye I watched folks of all colors race and creed running into the street with guns and knives and signs and hateful speech, but then, they stopped, for a moment, heard the sound of the angels and started to sing. The weapons fell to the street as they joined hearts and hands and sang as one, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah”
The Lord has said, in His Book, right after Joel, He “will do nothing unless He first reveals it to His prophets” (Amos 3:7).
The question won't be, "My Lord, why didn't You speak?" But rather, "My Lord, why didn't I listen?"
Personally, for me, I think that “now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 8: 11-14)
Love…a fire worth stoking.
“…if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13: 8-10)
iluvu & pray4u every.single.day
Thank you for sharing...