The “GO” Message in Joel

So, as I sat in bed last night, I was reading through parts of Romans. I came to Romans 10 and something hit me; there are quote marks in scripture, what do they mean? I see other places where it might say, “and scripture says…” in reference to other writings. So, when I came to Romans 10:13, I was hit with the question as to where does the reference of the quotes come from. It reads:

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I’ve often heard this verse quoted as just needing to call on him and one can be saved. We need to take into context the verse being quoted. Once we get the background of this passage, and it’s context, we’ll know better what Paul is talking about here.

This passage comes from Joel 2:32. It says:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

In fact, when reading back a few verses in Joel, you can see that it’s talking about the end times. It says:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. 30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”

Let’s now flip back to Romans 10 and see what it says after verse 13:

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

This is totally crazy! I hadn’t seen it before because…well, to be honest, I didn’t know the Joel passage, what it said, and what was its context. But, now, when we read this Romans passage about calling on the Lord and being saved, according to Joel, it’s clear that Paul is talking about the end times. How are people to hear if they don’t know? They can’t believe in something they know nothing about! How beautiful it is, those feet that bring the good news! When the news is brought, people will believe and receive the word spoken to them.

Everyone, in those last days, that call upon the Lord will be saved…told by both Paul and Joel.

The “Take Away”
How much do we know scripture? I grew up in the church. I knew the stories (for the most part…uh, at least the big ones). But we can see throughout the New Testament that Jesus, the disciples, and the apostles quote their scripture (I assume) off the top of their head. They knew the word of God.

Jesus hanging on the cross is another big example. I’ve heard preachers take Jesus’ words on the cross so many different ways. I refer to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But, Jesus was quoting Psalm 22. This is a beautiful Psalm about pain, suffering, etc. But even more, through it, I read that God is still to be praised! I believe that Jesus was suffering on the cross and was crying out to God, through this Psalm, to express, through His pain, “Yet you are holy” (vs.3). This brings so much strength to me! In the midst of Christ’s worst on this earth–the worst the world could throw at Him–He cried out to His father! {Oh God, make me to be dependent on you through my trials, even today. To praise you through it ALL, just as Christ gave an example to us on the cross!}

Getting back to Joel and Romans, in the end, when we know scripture, it puts a totally different light into the truth than the reflection we seem to always look through. We are called to go and make disciples! “Pray, for the laborers are few” doesn’t mean to just pray! God needs laborers. Those laborers, that do go, will soon see that there really are very few!

I challenge you today, Go! Stand firm in the Lord! His word IS dependable. It is not contradictory, as some might say. It’s fully dependable and stable! Read it. Know it. Pass it on. Be a disciple that makes disciples, for that is what “go” is all about!

Lord, I pray for those reading, even now, that you would poor out your Spirit upon them for courage and wisdom. When the hard and challenging questions come from the “churched” and the world, put words in their mouths of absolute truth! May your Spirit pierce their hearts as they read your Word seeking for truths that you bring.