• Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan

GREAT LENT: DAY 17



“O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before the threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.”

Joel 2:23-27


In this prophetic passage, God encourages and counsels his people living in difficult and disheartening times. The reason for this, the prophet says, is because His people have distanced themselves from their God. The drought had made their land inhabitable, pests had destroyed their crops, and persistent wars had shattered their peace. Nevertheless, God promises to bless them even more if they return to Him with all their hearts. He promises to give more to compensate for their extremely difficult year, so that the people will once again live in joy, and experience freedom from their shame.


In order for the people to enjoy the promised blessings and delights from God, it is necessary for them to return to God with all their hearts and minds. How must this take place? In this passage, God provides four important behaviors that renew the human mind and allow them to return to God with all their hearts and minds. God encourages and guides them by saying:

- You ought to remember and be grateful for all those things which God has granted you in the past: “Be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain.” (Joel 2:23)


- You ought to not worry and be fearful for the future but find refuge in God and His promises: “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.” (Joel 2:24-25)

- You ought to believe in the promise that God will provide for all of your needs. He will do the miraculous for you; He will cleanse you from your sin so that you are no longer ashamed. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26)


- You ought to understand that God is the one who provides for all your needs; hence, you should only worship Him, as He says, “I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:27)

Dear friends, today we also find ourselves living in difficult times. We have many reasons to be ashamed, and the greatest cause of this is sin and its stains on our personal and communal lives. If we pay attention to God’s appeal, and if we are to return to Him with all our hearts, He is prepared to bless us, provide for our needs, and grant us inexhaustible joy so that we may eternally not be ashamed.

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