As I have watched our nation over the last few years, I am convinced we have taken many wrong turns, and therefore we are on the wrong road and going in the wrong direction. As a result, we are imploding into chaos, corruption and confusion; in the end, we will crumble onto the ash heap of history. Unless we turn around and return to God, we will never reach our destination of abundant life, liberty and true happiness for all.
Like a thunderclap from Heaven, God’s Word speaks: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live …” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
On Friday morning, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court took a significant step in leading our nation to turn around when, in its Dobbs decision, six justices upheld Mississippi’s law prohibiting nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, and five of them courageously chose life overturning Roe v. Wade. I applaud their decision as a victorious first step for the well-being of our entire nation as we turn around from the federalized legalization of choosing death. Every farmer knows that life is in the seed. Human life is no different. Life begins at conception, period. So … choose life. But don’t stop there. It’s time to return to God.
I. RETURN TO GOD
- List briefly the reasons people needed to return to God, from Joel 1:6, 10-12, 16-20.
- While Joel was describing the effects of a locust plague, what else could each item on your list symbolize?
- How many of these “items” do you see in our nation? What do they indicate we need to do?
- How does Hosea 14:1-2 apply to our nation? To the church? To you?
- What moves the heart of God to return to us? See Joel 2:12-14 and Psalm 72:12-14.
- In Joel 2:13, what do you think is the difference between rending our garments and rending our hearts?
- How does 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 specifically relate to our national and personal condition?
II. GOD WILL RETURN TO US
- What is God’s promise to His people who have turned away from Him? Give phrases from Deuteronomy 30:1-3; 1 Samuel 7:3; and Isaiah 55:7.
- If a person or a nation returns to God, what is God’s response? See Hosea 14:4; Jeremiah 24:7; and Luke 15:7.
- What is God’s promise revealed by His Name in Psalm 99:8 (NKJV)?
- Have you, or someone you love, had an abortion? Have you paid for someone to have an abortion? Have you been an abortion provider or assisted a provider? If so, how does Daniel 9:9 apply to you? Acts 13:38? Ephesians 1:7-8?
- Name some of the blessings that result when an individual returns to a right relationship with God. See Psalm 14:7; 23:1-3; 53:6; 32:1-5.
- Compare the following verses that reveal the difference that returning to a right relationship with God makes in a nation: Joel 1:10-11 with 2:19; Joel 1:5, 8, 11, 12 with 2:21, 23; and Joel 1:9 with 2:25-27.
- What have the “locusts” eaten in your life? Apply Joel 2:25 to yourself.
- What hope does Joel 2:25 give you?
- Would you return to God and claim His promise of restoration in Joel 2:25 for yourself in prayer? Do it now.
- Would you pray for our nation to return to God? Write out your prayer using words from Exodus 34:9; Numbers 14:19; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 33:8; Micah 7:18.
Two thousand years ago, God entered into human history in the form of a tiny Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. … a Baby born to an unwed mother … a Baby born into poverty. A Baby who would demonstrate by His birth, life, death and resurrection that every human life has eternal purpose and meaning … that we can return to God through faith in Him. Human life is not a cosmic accident or an inconvenience or a mistake. God is committed to every single one of us, great or small, saints or sinners. As our nation moves forward following the Dobbs decision, we now need to repent of our sin and return to God. ©2023 Anne Graham Lotz
The Scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright, is “Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation.” It is available from major booksellers online.
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