"The Lamb is the light thereof."
Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus. Each one of these thoughts shall be to them like a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol. Light is also the cause of beauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl; and thus all the beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus. As planets, they reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they live as beams proceeding from the central orb. If he withdrew, they must die; if his glory were veiled, their glory must expire. Light is also the emblem of knowledge. In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus himself will be the fountain of it. Dark providences, never understood before, will then be clearly seen, and all that puzzles us now will become plain to us in the light of the Lamb. Oh! what unfoldings there will be and what glorifying of the God of love! Light also means manifestation. Light manifests. In this world it doth not yet appear what we shall be. God's people are a hidden people, but when Christ receives his people into heaven, he will touch them with the wand of his own love, and change them into the image of his manifested glory. They were poor and wretched, but what a transformation! They were stained with sin, but one touch of his finger, and they are bright as the sun, and clear as crystal. Oh! what a manifestation! All this proceeds from the exalted Lamb. Whatever there may be of effulgent splendour, Jesus shall be the centre and soul of it all. Oh! to be present and to see him in his own light, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!
"But as he went."
Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, to raise the ruler's dead daughter; but he is so profuse in goodness that he works another miracle while upon the road. While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose, straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend our energies by the way. Hastening to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit, and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling. But our Master knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, his path is radiant with lovingkindness. He is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained target, but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from flowers; and it always will be emanating from him, as water from a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to his word now, and at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee? But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee, and make thy suppliant whole.
Today's reading: Psalm 63-65, Romans 6 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 63-65
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you....
Today's New Testament reading: Romans 6
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life....
[JÅ'el] - jehovah is god or the lord is god.
- The first-born son of Samuelthe prophet (1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chron. 6:33; 15:17). Called Vashni in 1 Chronicles 6:28.
- A Simeonite prince (1 Chron. 4:35).
- The father of Shemaiah, a Reubenite ( 1 Chron. 5:4, 8).
- A chief Gadite (1 Chron. 5:12).
- An ancestor of Samuel the prophet (1 Chron. 6:36).
- A chief man of Issachar, descendant of Tola (1 Chron. 7:3).
- One of David's heroes and a brother of Nathan (1 Chron. 11:38).
- A Gershonite in David's time ( 1 Chron. 15:7, 11; 23:8).
- Another Gershonite, keeper of the treasures of the Lord's house (1 Chron. 26:22).
- A prince of Manasseh in David's reign (1 Chron. 27:20).
- A Kohathite who assisted Hezekiah in the cleansing of the Temple (2 Chron. 29:12).
- One of Nebo's family who had taken a foreign wife (Ezra 10:43).
- A son of Zechri, and overseer of the Benjamites in Jerusalem (Neh. 11:9).
- Son of Pethuel, and prophet in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah (Joel 1:1; Acts 2:16).
The Man Who Foresaw Pentecost
Because nothing is known of Joel beyond what the opening verse of his book states, he has been styled "The Anonymous Prophet." Scripture is silent as to his birthplace, parentage and rank. All we know is that he was a son of Pethuel, or Bethuel as the LXX expresses it. But who Pethuel is no one knows. Its meaning, however, is significant, "vision of God," and springs from a word implying "to open the eyes."
Joel was a common name among the Hebrews and is still so among the Orientals. The use of his name as "the son of Pethuel" was necessary to distinguish him from the other Joels we have considered. It would seem as if his home was in Jerusalem or its immediate neighborhood. Thus he speaks repeatedly of Zion (Joel 2:1, 15, 23; 3:16, 17, 21), the children of Zion (Joel 2:23), Judah and Jerusalem (Joel 2:32; 3:1-20), the children of Judah and Jerusalem ( Joel 3:6, 8, 19).
It may be that Joel was a Jew of Jerusalem, and owing to his peculiar mention of priests, a priest-prophet himself (Joel 1:9, 10). His references to the Temple and its worship are frequent (Joel 1:9-16; 2:14, 17; 3:18). It is also likely that he lived and prophesied in the early days of Joash and Jehoida, 870-865b.c., while the victory of Jehoshaphat was fresh in the nation's memory. For this reason he is termed "The Pioneer Prophet."
Dr. A. B. Simpson says,
Amos begins his longer message with a direct quotation from Joel, as a sort of text for his whole book. Isaiah expands the thoughts which Joel uttered into the larger and loftier message of his pen. Peter, on the Day of Pentecost quotes the prophecy of Joel as the very foundation of the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, which had occurred and which was to continue through the whole New Testament age. And even the great Apocalypse of John is but a larger unfolding of the promise of the Lord's coming which Joel gave in brief outline.
What is God's call to us through the Prophet Joel?
I. There is the call to repentance ( Joel 2:25-27).
II. There is the promise of refreshment (Joel 2:28, 29).
III. There is the message of deliverance (Joel 3:1).
IV. There is the secret of rest (Joel 3:17-21).