In Joel a most devastating locust plague has been levied on Judah for her sin, and it has been at the hands of Father that the locusts have devoured everything in a sharp rebuke moved out of love for his people and a passion for his reputation. There is a call issued for a solemn assembly to publicly repent of idolatry and injustice and on and on. The people and even the animals are languishing for food, and it is in this context that Joel 2:14 comes. Through chapters 2 and 3 there is the promise of three future days (Pentacost, the Day of the LORD, and the Day of the Messiah).
If read over without thought Joel 2:14 just gets passed and the implications missed.
Read it and see if it lands on you:
"Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?"
Do you see it?
See, when I say "I am so blessed." What I mean is that I have such an abundance or that I have such pleasant things.
The word blessing is barakah, and here is it's definition:
"Bless, Blessing. Pronouncement of the favor of God upon an assembled congregation." The word is also in places translated "pools" "liberal" "present".
So, I do use the word correctly. I noticed my problem is not a misuse of the word. It is an outright abuse of the point of blessing.
Notice how the word is used. The blessing (grace in provision from the LORD in a time in which there is not enough) was considered a blessing NOT because they could then eat, but because they could then offer a sacrifice!
Wow! It is considered blessing if one could offer a sacrifice and go hungry because the created end had been achieved.
The difference is what one views as the ultimate goal in all things. What is their reason for existence? In Joel 2:14 the text presupposes that one's chief end is to make much of God and honor him as their created purpose and that is fulfilling even if one does not eat. After all, they were to bring all their first fruit to the LORD. If they had something to sacrifice, they were living! They were alive! They had met their life's aim!
I presuppose that if I'm abundantly supplied and all things are pleasant I'm blessed, oh, and I do give a little too. Not too much because my comfort level would be threatened, but I give some.
I'm blessed if it's all good first and I throw God a bone at the end of the day. I assume my created end is to be taken care of then worship when I'm happy in my abundance. The text considers me blessed if I'm giving first and foremost back to God as worship because that is my created end regardless of what I have or don't have because my created end is to make much of God not make much of me.
I'm most definitely blessed. I'm given much, a generous abundance. What am I doing with it? How do I view Father's provision? Do I view it as goods to be given back to the source, Father, as worship? Do I view it as stuff to be consumed on my perceptions of comfort?
I believe it's the latter and want it to be the former, so there is repentance needed.