Excerpt from National Sins and National Judgments
In the first chapter is described a fearful desolation of the land by a famine. After describing the invasion of the land by the locusts, he proceeds: (verse The field is wasted; the land mourn eth, for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up the oil languisheth. Then he describes the husband men as ashamed of their unprofitable labours, unable, by their skill or industry, to stay the terrible famine: (verse Be ye ashamed, 0 ye husbandmen: howl, 0 ye vine-dressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig-tree languisheth, the pomegranate-tree, the palm-tree also, and the apple-tree, even all the trees are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
Nay, so severe would be the famine, that the due offerings could not be made for the house of God. So he proceeds: (verse Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat-offering and the drink-offering is withholden from the house of your God.
The prophet then calls for an acknowledgment of all this as a judgment from Almighty God; and summons the nation to a solemn act of humiliation: (verse Sanctify ye a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, Alas! For the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
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