Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Joel 2:12-17 (NKJV)
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him – A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
In the New King James Version of the Bible, the title of our text is “A Call to Repentance.” Prophet Joel was one of the Minor Prophets in the history of Israel. He was raised by God to call the people of Israel to genuine repentance. Verse 13 says “So rend your heart, and not your garment; Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm.” It is obvious here that God is so compassionate in his judgment and he does not want any corruption or defilement in our hearts (Isaiah 55: 7).
God is seeking for a broken heart to save and a contrite spirit to use for the accomplishment of the work of His kingdom (Psalm 51: 17). The moment you answer this call by confessing your sins, endeavour not to continue in them again. If you do contrary, you will be laying a snare to yourself. But if you turn to Him in honesty of your heart, you will experience a newness of life. God will abundantly pardon you, no matter how great your sins might be. His grace is greater than your guilt (1 John 1: 9). Whether you are clergy or laity, God does not discriminate. He does not even ask how long you have been in your guilt. He will forgive you if you will confess and forsake them all.
Prayer: O Lord, help me to turn to you in genuine repentance, in Jesus’ name. Amen.