Wednesday, April 12
Let’s be honest, when God sent prophets to His people, they didn’t come with messages of gumdrops and kittens. Joel is no different.
- For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
- Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—
- The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?
God’s judgement is no joke. But (thankfully) He is also a kind and compassionate Father.
Joel 2:13 says,
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate
Living in a different culture, we miss some of the meaning here. Have you ever been so angry that you threw something (or wanted to)? It’s kind of the same idea. Grief so overwhelming that you pull at your hair, your clothes…you are beside yourself. In Jewish culture, tearing one’s garments was a common outward sign of tremendous grief.
But here, Joel is calling for more than an outward sign. He’s telling the people that God wants an inward change more than….
….more than going forward on ‘decision night’
….more than posting a touching quote on Facebook
….more than acting holy around your parents and church friends
Our Father is merciful and kind, but he cannot tolerate sin. Like most prophets, Joel gives two options: Repent or Reap the Consequences.