Be a Lighthouse

By Anne Graham Lotz | July 15, 2015

The coastline of North Carolina is sometimes referred to as the graveyard of the Atlantic. There are many hidden sandbars, swirling currents and shifting outer banks that have made the waters extremely treacherous for passing ships. So dotted along the edge of the mainland are lighthouses, the most famous being the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. While it looks like a black and white, 220-foot tall barber’s pole, the light it gives out can be seen for 20 miles. It has never been allowed to go out, even during the Civil War. Its purpose is to give direction at night to passing ships by letting them know where they are, and how they can safely navigate the dangerous waters.

In the spiritual and moral darkness of our world today, God has sent us harbingers to warn us of the extreme danger of His imminent judgment. But He has also given us light to direct us as we seek to navigate safely the treacherous days in which we are living. His light gives us …

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Joel 2:1-11

• What does Joel say is coming in Joel 2:1?

• Give the phrases that describe the impending judgment in Joel 2:1-2. What do you think each phrase could symbolize if applied spiritually?

• Give phrases that describe this same day of judgment from Isaiah 13:6, 9, 10; Ezekiel 30:3; Amos 5:18-20; and Zephaniah 1:14-18.

• To whom was this warning given that implies the judgment was not local or personal, but national in scope? See Joel 2:1.

• What phrase also implies that the judgment is worldwide? See Joel 2:6 and Zephaniah 1:18.

• Who is in charge of this judgment, according to Joel 2:11?

• Describe God’s movement in Matthew 21:12-13. Was it pleasant?

• Describe God’s movement in Revelation 19:11-16. Was it pleasant?

• When is God’s movement not pleasant? See Revelation 6:15-17.

• What hope does this unpleasant movement of God give to you and me as His children? Read Psalm 18:6-19.

• What does Joel say will precede this movement of God in judgment? See Joel 2:31.

“In the spiritual and moral darkness of our world today, God has sent us harbingers to warn us of the extreme danger of His imminent judgment. But He has also given us light to direct us as we seek to navigate safely the treacherous days in which we are living.”

• How is this confirmed in Matthew 24:29? In 2 Peter 3:10?

• What unusual “wonders in the heavens” are taking place today that could be signals that God is moving in judgment?

• List the reasons from Psalm 46 that you and I have for not being afraid when God moves.

• What is the primary reason for not being afraid? See Psalm 46:11, Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:6.

• As the world unravels, would you choose to thank God that He is moving and bringing all things under the authority of His Son and our Savior, Jesus?

Joel 2:12-17

• What phrase in Joel 2:12 indicates that it’s not too late to delay, soften or reverse God’s judgment?

• In order for God to relent from sending judgment, what two things do we need to do? See Joel 2:12-13.

• Explain in your own words what each of these means.

• What phrases in Joel 2:12 indicate that this is not a casual, careless response on our part?

• What is the difference between regret or remorse, and rending our hearts?

• How does Ezra demonstrate what it means to rend our hearts? See Ezra 9-10.

• Describe Nineveh’s response to the warning of God’s movement in imminent judgment. Read Jonah 3:1-10.

• Contrasted with God’s unpleasant movement in judgment, how does Joel describe Him in Joel 2:13? Look up each word in the dictionary and put the definition in your own words.

• List the characteristics of God on which we can rely when He moves in judgment. See Daniel 9:8-10; Habakkuk 3:2; Nehemiah 9:16-17, 29-31; and Psalm 145:3-20.

• How does the cross reveal the judgment and the love of God combined? Read John 1:29 along with John 3:16-17, and also Romans 3:21-26 and 2 Corinthians 5:21.

• Is God loving? See Psalm 36:5-7, Romans 8:31-39 and 1 John 4:16.

• Is God holy and just? See Acts 17:30-31, 1 Peter 1:15 and Revelation 19:11.

• How would you answer someone who says, “A loving God would never judge anyone”?

• As the Day of the Lord draws near, what encouragement do you receive from the knowledge that God is moving and God is loving?

How will the world recognize that behind the turmoil and distress we are experiencing is our God who is on the move unless you and I tell people? In the increasingly dangerous and treacherous moral and spiritual darkness of our culture, would you join me in being a lighthouse? Share the Gospel with those around you. Give them real hope. Just give them Jesus. D ©2015 ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ