The Promise of Heaven
Daily Bible Reading – Joel 1-3; 2 Timothy 1
Today’s Key Passage – Joel 2:18-27
Joel was a prophet in Judah who many Biblical scholars believe was one of the prophets urging the people to return to God during King Joash’s reign. Joel began his book by telling the people about the devastation that was coming to them because of their sin. He spoke about a plague of locusts that was coming that would destroy Judah, which symbolized an invading army that would defeat Judah if they did not repent of their sins and return to God. By the second chapter of his book, Joel switched his focus from the impending invasion and the consequences of their sins to a much more joyous topic – God’s mercy and forgiveness. He told the people of Judah that if they repented of their sins and turned back to God, then God would forgive them and save them from destruction. In today’s key passage, he discusses God’s response to Judah’s repentance, and he speaks of a few promises for the people if they return to God. As I read these words, I cannot help but be reminded of another promise from God – the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven.
The first promise God makes to those who have turned to Him is to, “drive the northern army far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.” (Vs. 20) When we are saved and God promises us eternal life, He promises us that at the day of judgment He will drive away our enemies. He will drive away all of our sinfulness as He gives us perfect bodies and perfect minds in Heaven. In addition, he will drive out all of the evil in the world and separate it from us, and we will be left surrounded by only the best of God.
The second promise God makes is to, “repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.” (Vs. 25) In our present life, we face many hardships and times of trial. We will all face tragedies of one degree or another, and they are all brought about by the evil that is inherent in this world. God promises that in Heaven, He will repay us for all of the hard times we have faced in this life. He will provide us with the greatest award imaginable when we stay faithful to Him. This reward is referenced in the symbolism of Vs. 26 when God promises, “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you”.
Finally, God promises that, “never again will [His] people be shamed” (Vs. 27) When we make it to Heaven, we will not have to worry about facing any trials. We will not have to worry about sin. We will not have to worry about the guilt and shame that comes when we are unable to live up to God’s perfect standard.
When we repent of our sins, turn to God, and accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we receive a promise from God that is greater than anything we can possibly imagine. We are promised to spend eternity in Heaven in the presence of the Creator of the Universe, and we are promised eternal blessings from Him. While some of those blessings might not come during our lives here on earth, we can be assured that we will receive God’s very best on “that day”. Praise God for His promises to us. Praise God for the promise of Heaven.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.