What’s on the Inside?
“Rend your heart, and not your garments.”
Read Joel 2:12-17
After speaking to the nation about the terrible judgment of God in verse 11, Joel calls the people to repentance, “with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning” (v. 12). It’s not the outside that matters – not their garments, but their heart (v. 13). The Jews had the tendency to tear their clothing as a sign of sorrow, spontaneously demonstrating repentance. We are inclined to do this as well when we promise the Lord to “do better” next time; we may even dress more soberly. But this has no value before the Lord because, in His Word, He desires your heart: My son, my daughter, give me thy heart.
When you truly repent from the heart, then you will mourn for your sins, fight against them, and forsake them. When you realize that your sins cause the Lord grief, your heart will be distressed because of your love for Him. You will have no more excuses for your sin, but will be ready to bow before His face. The world will hold no more value to you, and you would rather remain a beggar before God than live on in your sin. Your hope upon Him will not be in vain, for “He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (v. 13). Turn to Him with your whole heart.
How am I to do this, you ask? Go to the Lord with this prayer on your lips: “I am not worthy that Thou wouldst look upon me, for I have sinned, but in mercy remember me, Lord. Do not cast me away to this sinful, ruthless world, but receive me.” According to the Lord’s own promises, He will return and repent (v. 14).
What expectation may be derived from verse 14?
This devotional was taken from “The Time of Your Life” a daily devotional published by the Youth & Educational Committee of the FRC. To order a printed copy of this book, contact: [email protected]