June 3, 2012: Joel 2:12-27 (Rich Merkouris)

(Joel 2:12-27, New International Version)
 12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
   “return to me with all your heart,
   with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

 13 Rend your heart
   and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
   for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
   and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
   and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
   for the LORD your God.

 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
   declare a holy fast,
   call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people,
   consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
   gather the children,
   those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
   and the bride her chamber.
17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
   weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, LORD.
   Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
   a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
   ‘Where is their God?’”  18 Then the LORD was jealous for his land
   and took pity on his people.

 19 The LORD replied to them:

   “I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
   enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
   an object of scorn to the nations.

 20 “I will drive the northern horde far from you,
   pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
   and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
   its smell will rise.”

   Surely he has done great things!
 21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
   be glad and rejoice.
Surely the LORD has done great things!
 22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
   for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
   the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
   rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
   because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
   both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
   the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

 25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
   the great locust and the young locust,
   the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
   and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
   who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
   that I am the LORD your God,
   and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.