Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say, "I am strong!"
To which I would add, "AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!
Give me a black patch over me blind left eye so I might really feel it to me bones!!!! Even grow out me beard a bit more!
But what's the truth of this scripture as I dig in further? Well.... replace that pirate yell with the sound that we hear from the Pillsbury Doughboy when his soft tummy gets poked.
Awwww..... isn't that cute? I combined a few images to illustrate what I see, to engrave this image into your minds.
Reading with the guys in Joel 3, at first take we immediately resonated with the talk of battle.
It was, after all, in the same vein that we embody as Christian men.
Fighting men, rousing, proclaiming, attacking.....the weakling getting to say with pride, "I am Strong!"
Why would that not be something we feel right down to our souls, given the day and age we live in.
Look at your average, middle-class, middle-aged man. What do you see?
Do you see a man hardened for battle? Do you see blood, sweat and tears? Do you see scars from battle?
Maybe a nick or two from where he shaved this morning while daydreaming.
You see soccer dad. You see comfort. You see a faith that has a foundation forged of Jello. Things get tough and persecution in the mildest of forms can cause an 8.4 on the Richter scale up in the echelons where we live. Our heads are in the clouds!
Chaos! Destruction in our world, when one person in the office, one person in the family, calls us a Ninny for believing in a bunch of fairy tales! Desolation and Despair when someone gives a question about our Jesus that we can't answer, when we don't have the answers to give an account of our faith, because we only spend 30 minutes a week in scripture, and having it read to us at that, on Sunday morning while we drool and dream of biscuits and gravy! 'Get on with it Preacher-man! I'm hungry!'
Shake our tree a bit, and we'll fall straight to the ground. We're ripe for the harvest, fruit that is beyond ripe and to the point of rotten, having the appearance of being connected to the vine, when really we are primed to fall, hard, to the ground.
Yes! We are a Doughboy Army! We are softies, trying to put on our armor and pick up a sword that weighs more than we do.
Joel 3 is not a battle cry for the Lord's army. It's a cry, yes, but a cry in vanity. It's about the enemies of the Lord, from the fighting men right down to the Doughboys, weaklings who think themselves strong, marching into the onslaught of a righteous judgment. They are rousing for a war they cannot win! Beating their farming tools in weapons because they have no excuse. All men will march. All men will find that throne. Not one will find refuge from that Day.
This scripture is the Lord, daring, calling out to His enemies! He says, "Bring it! Bring your best! I'm ready to meet you on the battlefield, and bring whatever you may, it won't even be a fight!"
What do we do about it today? We cry for help! For forgiveness! For repentance! I don't want to be a member of the Doughboys anymore. That life, while soft and cuddly, is headed for the oven.
Get up out of the frying pan man!