13Put on sackcloth and mourn, you priests!
Wail, you ministers of the altar.
Come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God,
for the meal offering and the drink offering are withheld from your God’s house.
14Sanctify a fast.
Call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of Yahweh, your God,
and cry to Yahweh.
15Alas for the day!
For the day of Yahweh is at hand,
and it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
16Isn’t the food cut off before our eyes,
joy and gladness from the house of our God?
17The seeds rot under their clods.
The granaries are laid desolate.
The barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.
18How the animals groan!
The herds of livestock are perplexed, because they have no pasture.
Yes, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
19Yahweh, I cry to you,
for the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,
and the flame has burned all the trees of the field.
20Yes, the animals of the field pant to you,
for the water brooks have dried up,
and the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
Joel and Obadiah were actually one of the earlier prophets. Joel prophesied long before the exile and was located in Judah, in the southern Kingdom. While it is hard to date his exact time he probably lived around the time that Queen Athaliah was on the throne. She was wicked to the core grabbing the crown after the sudden death of her son and killing all her grandchildren so they couldn’t claim the throne. Only boy escaped and was hidden by the priest in the temple, later he became king. (2 Kings chapter 11)
This was the situation that Joel spoke into. On the face of everything the temple was still in operation and people still participated in the ritual of worship. To the other nations they still looked like God’s people from a distance. The people had wine to drink, they still got married and they still farmed they trusted in their wealth and status. However, there was an imposter on the throne and deceit in the kingdom, the façade looked good, but the foundations were crumbling.
It all started because there was an imposter on the thrown. Queen Athaliah was not from King David’s Royal line so she could never lead the people to Jesus. God wants to be sovereign in our lives he wants to have first place, because he wants the best for us. Let’s examine our hearts carefully today and make sure there is not an imposter on the throne that would lead us away from Jesus.