Are you feeling Vulnerable?
What situations or circumstances stirred a sense of vulnerability in you prior to spring 2020?
This past week of 2020 has been one that Christians across the globe have celebrated Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter in a vastly different manner than in recent years. We’ve watched services from our own homes rather than attending public celebrations and memorials.
Some had hoped in North America that we’d be able to gather in person on Easter Sunday but sadly that has not proved feasible. The COVID-19 virus response has truly disrupted our sense of normal. Our businesses, personal health, loved one’s health, sense of control or freedom have many wavering with feeling vulnerable.
What words would you use to describe feeling vulnerable?
The definition of vulnerable is being or feeling capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.
Joel 1:7 is a verse that uses powerful word imagery to describe Judah’s state of vulnerability. It wasn’t just that Judah was feeling vulnerable. They were literally in a vulnerable state.
ESV Joel 1:7 It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches are made white.
The “it” at the beginning of this verse refers to the “nation” in Joel 1:6. This “nation” is a personification of the myriads of locusts described in Joel 1:4 that attacked Judah’s vegetation.
The vine in Joel 1:7 is referring to the grape vines that were mentioned in Joel 1:5. They’ve not only be cut off by the locusts but very badly damaged.
Then we’re told that the fig trees have been turned into splinters. Splinters are small needlelike pieces broken off.
Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine a 50-foot tree being turned into nothing but splinters.
Not only has the fig tree been turned into a pile of splinters but the bark has been stripped off so that any branches that may remain are now completely exposed to the sun.
- Can you comprehend the level of devastation being described here?
- With this amount of devastation what will it take for Judah to rebound and recover?
- Is there any hope shared in Joel 1:7?
We are told that the vine and the fig tree belong to the LORD. The possessive adjective “my” communicates that the LORD is not only the owner of everything around us but is fully aware of everything that happens on this globe.
How can this verse encourage us with our current circumstances across the globe?
Many of us aren’t in as dire of a situation as Joel 1:7 describes but some are because they’ve lost loved ones, jobs or other difficulties. Those that are in this situation are vulnerable both physically and emotionally.
- Who in your circle of influence has been made vulnerable during our current global situation?
- How can you be of help to them?
- Are you in a vulnerable state right now?
- Who can you reach out to for help?
The date of this post falls on Easter Sunday for Christians around our globe. May we each find a way to express what we believe in ways that bring hope and encouragement to those who are struggling today.
- Christian, what do you believe?
- How then should you live?
If you’ve been feeling vulnerable or are in a vulnerable state, I hope you’ve been encouraged with this study and can trust that God has you in his care no matter the circumstances you are facing.
- Christ trusted his heavenly Father.
- Do you?
ESV Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Names and Their Meaning: Joel 1:1
Breaking News : Joel 1:2
Sharing Stories : Joel 1:3
Current Crisis : Joel 1:4
Shortages Today : Joel 1:5
Gone Viral : Joel 1:6