In the Old Testament, which contains the book of Joel, there are more references to warring tribes and nations than anyone would like to count. It’s unfortunate and sad to think that so much bloodshed and destruction occurred in days gone by.
Why tribes and nations couldn’t just settle on a piece of land and live in harmony with one another is a mystery to me, one better left to factual interpretation from those more capable than I. Maybe if they had had better musical instruments or a visitation from John Lennon singing “Imagine” the music that soothes the savage beast would have prevailed.
It was this constant theme of war, land grabs, rebellion against oppression, injustice, and over taxation that led prophets, teachers, and writers of both the Old and New Testaments to write and speak with prose that were commonly understood and practiced in those days. Today, we are far from done with war or even rumors of war, but we do live in a more balanced society than our forefathers. So while we aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we are capable of applying contemporary interpretations to the Scriptures of old to help us uncover wisdom we can use today.
So while Joel was literally calling for folks to postpone farming activities and beat their plowshares into swords, today we could define this same call to arms as a spiritual revival, a call to sharpen our gifts and individual talents into instruments that will rouse folks to get back in the game, back to God. If you possess the gift of teaching, then dust off your Bible, bone up on the word and sign up to teach a Bible study at your church or in your neighborhood. If you have the gift of helping, but are no longer applying that gift for the benefit of the kingdom, ask yourself why.
When you are in the workplace and you have an opportunity to encourage, uplift, and inspire others to be more sensitive to and mindful of their coworkers, diligently do so. When you see “stinkin’ thinkin’” call it out. When you see injustice, just as Nehemiah did, find a way to bring it to the attention of someone who can make a difference. And when that person can’t be found, STEP UP and BECOME…
The very DIFFERENCE MAKER you seek!
[Like what your reading? There’s more where this came from – deeper studies of scriptural stories in my book, Legacies of Valor – Traits of Character: The Noble & The Notable. Support this blog ministry by ordering a copy of Legacies of Valor today]
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