The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.…
Not the word that came to Hosea or to Amos, but the word that came to Joel, — intimating that there is a word that comes to every man. Each man has his own view of God, his own kingdom of heaven, his own way of telling what God has done for him. And the mischief is that we expect every man to speak in the same tone, to deliver the same words, and to subject himself to the same literary yoke or spiritual discipline. The Bible sets itself against all this monotony. Every man must speak the word that God has given to him through the instrumentality of his own characteristics. A man cannot say what word has to come to him. A man cannot be both the message carrier and the message originator. We are errand-runners; we have to receive our message and to repeat it; we have not first to create it, then to modify it, then to deliver it. The prophets assumed the position of being instruments, mediums for communications which the Lord wished to make with His children near and far, and with the world at large, and through all time. A man cannot say he will sing his Gospel; the Lord has only sent a certain number of singers, and we cannot increase the multitude. No man can say. I will go forth, and thunder the Word of the Lord in the ear of the age; the Lord hath not given His thunder to that tongue; it was meant to speak peacefully, soothingly, kindly, and when it tries to thunder creation would smile at the feebleness of the effort, and the palpableness of the irony. So we have in the Bible all kinds of ministry. There are thunders and judgments in the Book, and there are voices like lutes; there are whispers which you can only hear when you incline your ear with all the intensity of attention. There are words that roll down the mountains like splintered rocks, granites that have been ripped in two by the lightning; and there are words that fall from another mountain as flowers, beatitudes, tender speeches. The Lord hath need of all kinds of men; He wants the fire and the whirlwind and the tempest, and the dew, and the still small voice — all are God's ministry, God's husbandry.
(Joseph Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.