The Ministry of Alarm
Joel 2:1-11
Blow you the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble…

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, etc. Zion was the meeting-place for the people of God, and may be fairly taken as a type of the true Church in all ages. We may take these verses as setting forth one aspect of the Church's ministry, namely, the ministry of alarm.

I. IT HAS TO ANNOUNCE A JUDGMENT THAT IS TERRIBLE. How graphically and appallingly does the prophet set forth the tremendousness of the calamity that was about being inflicted on Judah! It was a day of "darkness and gloominess," a day of "clouds" and of "thick darkness," etc. We have here:

1. The executors of the judgment. Whom did the Almighty Governor of the world now employ to execute his judgments? The magnates of the earth, or the illustrious legions of heaven? No; locusts. He brings them out by millions, and marshals them as his battalions, to fight against sin and crush the sinner. So dense are their crowds, that they darken the sun and conceal the stars. So rapid their movement, and so closely do they jostle together, that their noise is like "the noise of chariots on the top of the mountains." The sunbeam falleth on their glazed wings, so that they appear as a "fire that falleth before them, and behind them as a flame that burneth." They move with such order and force that their appearance is like "horses ' and "horsemen." The meanest insect is God's messenger; the little locust he employs as an officer of his justice.

2. The effects of the judgment. "The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them as a desolate wilderness." Note the power of combination. These little insects singly were comparatively powerless; in combination they moved with a resistless energy. Unity is strength. This terrible judgment, however, is but a faint shadow of that more terrible judgment that awaits this wicked world, "when the Sou of man shall come in all his glory, with his holy angels," etc. "I saw, and, behold, a great white throne," etc.

II. IT HAD TO ANNOUNCE A JUDGMENT THAT WAS APPROACHING. "The day of the Lord cometh; it is nigh at hand." This terrible army of insects was now in the course of formation, and was gathering together for the fearful work of destruction. The Church now has to give warning of a judgment that is coming. "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away," etc. Yes, it is coming. Its dim rays of dawn are seen on the tops of the distant hills; the terrible sun will break forth in the heavens ere long: it will indeed be "the day of the Lord." The Church's work is to warn every man, to blow the trumpet of alarm, give it a blast that shall startle the thoughtless generation. - D.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

WEB: Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahweh comes, for it is close at hand:

Alarm in God's House
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