Rend Your Hearts, Not Your Garments
Judgment is coming for the sins of the people, but after repentance they will be restored.
Joel predicts a locust plague to come upon the land of Judah, which is both primary and secondary as a prophetic warning. The primary meaning is a literal locust plague. But the things Joel says about the locusts gradually transcend what could be true of mere bugs and could only be true of an invading army. In this way, the locust plague becomes symbolic of an invading army swarming over the land of Judah, stripping it of everything that has life. The warning of the plague comes because Judah is failing to serve the Lord. Joel holds out an escape: "Turn to Me with all your heart...rend your heart and not your garments" (vv. 12-13). Judah ignores the warning and the judgment eventually falls. Sin always has its consequences.
Give your praise to the Lord that He always warns us of the consequences of sin and gives us a means of escape:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together...
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:1-3, 8)
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge (Psalm 51:4).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- Greater faithfulness with your finances
- Revival among Christians in America
- Your activities for the day
Finally, offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
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