Most consider fortune to be materialistic wealth in some form or fashion.

  • What do you consider a fortune?
  • If you consider yourself as having a fortune, how did you obtain it?
  • Was your fortune inherited or did you build it on your own?
  • Have you ever lost a fortune?
  • Does this talk of material wealth make you uncomfortable or excited?

Read Joel 3:1:

ESV  Joel 3:1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

Biblically, whenever a verse starts with some variant of “for behold” it indicates important information is to follow.

This verse is another turning point in the book of Joel.

Prior to this verse we have experienced vivid imagery of catastrophic proportions related to a series of locust invasions, fire, and drought.

Throughout the sharing of the vivid imagery of this loss of agricultural and life sustaining fortune, it is implied that the Lord sent these difficulties to wake up His worshippers to a renewed and right relationship with Him.

Frighteningly, we are also told that that their situation is worse than just a lack of vegetation. Their implied disregard towards worshipping the Lord wholeheartedly meant He was sending His heavenly army to destroy them.

They are then encouraged by Joel to cry out collectively to the Lord and appeal to Him His own character and past promises to them.

The result is the Lord is stirred to pity and compassion toward His people.  He not only stops His army from destroying His people but promises to restore abundantly all the agricultural fortune that had been lost.

The Lord goes even further by announcing that He also plans to share His Spirit openly with His people regardless of age, gender, or social status. This is significant given that previously His Spirit is only given to select individuals for a specific purpose or period.

Yet, even with all the amazing promises of agricultural fortune restoration and spiritual enhancement the Lord indicates there is still a Day of the Lord, or judgment ahead for a future time.

Read Joel 3:1 again:

ESV  Joel 3:1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

Notice the Lord indicates will restore multiple fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem.  This means everyone who is a part of Judah and Jerusalem will be abundantly restored.

Who is Judah and Jerusalem?

In the context of the book of Joel it is ethnic Judah, or the Israelites, the Lord’s chosen nation.

Never forget though that  throughout the Old Testament there are instructions and examples of non-ethnic persons becoming worshippers of the Lord. (See the book of Ruth as one example).

The announcement to “behold” along with the phrase, “in those days and at that time”, indicate that what follows Joel 3:1 is worthy of our attention.

Before moving on to the next critical information, the Lord’s compassion and grace is displayed again as He reminds His people that He will restore them abundantly.

How can this verse help us today?

The year 2020 has been challenging.

The year 2021 is only one month old at the time of this post being published.

No matter what is happening in the world around us, we must hold on to the promises the Lord has shared with His people.

The Lord promised the Judeans that He would restore their fortunes and share His Spirit with them abundantly.

  • Do you believe these promises can also be yours today?
  • Is there someone near you that needs to hear this same encouragement?
  • What else do you see in this verse that we can hold onto as we face the days ahead?

My prayer for us today:

May we be amazed at the tenderness and immense graciousness of the Lord in desiring relationship with His creation and the astounding promises He has offered. May we see our relationship with the Lord as the most valuable fortune available.

Hold on to this glorious hope!


Barbara Lynn

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