Joel 1 (The Message)

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1 God's Message to Joel son of Pethuel: 2 Attention, elder statesmen! Listen closely, everyone, whoever and wherever you are! Have you ever heard of anything like this? Has anything like this ever happened before - ever? 3 Make sure you tell your children, and your children tell their children, And their children their children. Don't let this message die out. 4 What the chewing locust left, the gobbling locust ate; What the gobbling locust left, the munching locust ate; What the munching locust left, the chomping locust ate. 5 Sober up, you drunks! Get in touch with reality - and weep! Your supply of booze is cut off. You're on the wagon, like it or not. 6 My country's being invaded by an army invincible, past numbering, Teeth like those of a lion, fangs like those of a tiger. 7 It has ruined my vineyards, stripped my orchards, And clear-cut the country. The landscape's a moonscape. 8 Weep like a young virgin dressed in black, mourning the loss of her fiancé. 9 Without grain and grapes, worship has been brought to a standstill in the Sanctuary of God. The priests are at a loss. God's ministers don't know what to do. 10 The fields are sterile. The very ground grieves. The wheat fields are lifeless, vineyards dried up, olive oil gone. 11 Dirt farmers, despair! Grape growers, wring your hands! Lament the loss of wheat and barley. All crops have failed. 12 Vineyards dried up, fig trees withered, Pomegranates, date palms, and apple trees - deadwood everywhere! And joy is dried up and withered in the hearts of the people. Nothing's Going On in the Place of Worship 13 And also you priests, put on your robes and join the outcry. You who lead people in worship, lead them in lament. Spend the night dressed in gunnysacks, you servants of my God. Nothing's going on in the place of worship, no offerings, no prayers - nothing. 14 Declare a holy fast, call a special meeting, get the leaders together, Round up everyone in the country. Get them into God's Sanctuary for serious prayer to God. 15 What a day! Doomsday! God's Judgment Day has come. The Strong God has arrived. This is serious business! 16 Food is just a memory at our tables, as are joy and singing from God's Sanctuary. 17 The seeds in the field are dead, barns deserted, Grain silos abandoned. Who needs them? The crops have failed! 18 The farm animals groan - oh, how they groan! The cattle mill around. There's nothing for them to eat. Not even the sheep find anything. 19 God! I pray, I cry out to you! The fields are burning up, The country is a dust bowl, forest and prairie fires rage unchecked. 20 Wild animals, dying of thirst, look to you for a drink. Springs and streams are dried up. The whole country is burning up.
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