“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.
– Joel 2.12-13
What can you learn about God from this passage?
The opening chapters of Joel let readers in on a locust plague sent by God. At their most vulnerable moment, God stood by with His hand outstretched, hoping for their repentance.
Here you can discover three important things regarding genuine repentance and the nature of God. For example…
True repentance moves with a sense of urgency. “Yet even now,” declares the Lord… A person who truly repents will realize that time is precious and one moment spent outside a relationship with God is just one moment too long.
True repentance involves a desire to return to God. God said, “Return to me with all your heart…” On the day of your salvation, you made a covenant with God. If you have turned your back on that covenant, know that God is calling you back so that you can be fully restored. Think of the story of the prodigal son: Luke 15.11-32.
True repentance comes from the heart. Rend your heart and not your garments. This is something that goes farther than fear of punishment and confession of sin. God wants your heart. Will you give it to Him and bear fruits of repentance? See Matthew 3:8.
How great and awesome the God is that we serve! He is full of grace and mercy. He is slow to anger. He abounds in lovingkindness. How close is your relationship with God? Do you need to return to Him? He is holding out for you!