Joel 2:18: Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, and will have pity on His people.

Few books of the Bible portray as bleak a wasteland as Joel. A locust plague leaves the land desolate. A fire consumes everything green: “The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but a desolate wildness behind them” (2:3).

As a result, the temple worship grinds to a halt. Israel’s worship is exchange with the products of the land. Without grain, there are no grain offerings; without olives, no anointing oil; without grapes, no wine for libations. When the land is ruined, the people are not merely cut off from their food supply. They are cut off from God.

Desolation continues until the sudden announcement that the Lord will be zealous for the land and will have pity on His people. When the Lord remembers His promise to Zion, everything changes. Grain, olive trees, grapevines reappear. The land drips with honey and flows with milk.

Israel knows the curse is lifted and the plague is over because there is food in the Lord’s house. Israel knows Yahweh has shown pity because He sets out bread and wine at His table.

Just like us. Just like us.