I know someone who, because a member of the church his parents attended said something that offended him, quit going to church. He was a teenager at the time. He’s in his thirties today. And he will give that incident as the reason he still doesn’t go to church today.
I’ve heard of others who see injustice in the world and say, “If God causes such bad things to happen, I don’t want anything to do with Him.” or “There must not be a God at all.”
Do you wonder how God feels when people convince themselves of such?
What do you have against me, Tyre and Sidon and the cities of Philistia? Are you trying to take revenge on me? (3:4a)
Do people who judge God and find Him guilty think they have the upper hand? Seriously?
If you are (taking revenge on me) watch out! I will strike swiftly and pay you back for everything you have done. (4b)
Everything YOU have done.
Joel goes on to remind us we all enjoy the blessings of God. We all live in a world where the sun shines, the rain falls, wounds heal, crops produce fruit, hearts beat…
But we have taken those blessings and carted them off to pagan temples. (vs 5) Instead of using them to glorify God, instead of being grateful, we turn it around and use them against Him
But be warned. Especially when God repeats Himself:
… and I will pay you back for everything you have done. (verse 7b)
Here’s the good news:
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (2:32)
If you have any excuse why you haven’t called on the name of the Lord, if you have put yourself above God, found Him guilty, or blame your present circumstances on that old church lady who hurt your feelings – get over yourself!
Are you trying to teach God a lesson? Get even? Punish Him? That, my friend, is foolishness. Do you have any idea who it is you are dealing with?
Here’s the deal: obey God according to His Word, the Bible. Or not. Just remember your decision will stay with you for eternity. And in the end you won’t judge God. He will judge you.
I pray that when He does, He will be able to judge you according to the righteousness of His Son Jesus. The flip side of that is unthinkable.