I will repay you for the years
that the cutting locust,
the swarming locust, the hopping locust, and the devouring locust have eaten—
my great army, which I sent against you.
You will eat abundantly and be satisfied,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has done wonders for you;
and my people will never again be put to shame.
You will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God—no other exists;
never again will my people be put to shame.
After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
In those days, I will also pour out my
spirit on the male and female slaves.
You will pour out your Spirit upon EVERYONE? Even him? Even her? Even them?
In the church, we associate this scripture with the day of Pentecost and see its fulfillment in that moment when the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The challenge for us is to realize that the Spirit didn’t stop there. God continues to speak into the hearts of people: raising up new prophets, new dreamers, and new visionaries who paint the picture of God’s will for today. Joel made it clear that this was going to be more God-talk than anyone was ready for: from young and old, men and women, slave and free alike.
All this makes us feel profoundly uncomfortable: if God can speak through ANYONE, then I may have to listen to EVERYONE. Yikes! But that’s the side effect of believing that all people are created in God’s image, and that everyone has access to God’s Spirit. Sometimes, even someone we may not like, respect or agree with may have a word from God that we need to hear.
For Pondering & Prayer
Does this thought – that God can speak through all kinds of people – excite you or frighten you?
If God can speak through anyone – even you – how does that affect the way you will speak to other people today?