Monday, 27 July 2020 Joel 2:1-32
"Then you shall know that I am in midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame." -Joel 2:27
The Book of Joel shows clearly, how God's judgment comes upon people gone astray and how He relents when they repent. When His people repent of their wicked ways, He shows His gracious abundant love through gifts poured upon His remnant. Reading through this prophecy reveals the heart of a loving father who loves his children and longs to see them blessed. But blessings are not for the rebellious and disobedient and this is the reason why this prophecy starts with a gloomy and dark picture of judgment, call for repentance and final reward of blessings.
Judgment of God is nothing but the just reward of what we deserve for our disobedience to Him. There is no way of escape when the judgment of God is poured out except returning to the Lord in repentance by mending our ways. When He sees we have turned back to Him, He will show His mercy towards us. The incomparable abundance of His mercy is the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon all. It is poured out upon all to lead a life pleasing to God because we ourselves are incapable of it without the Spirit of God. God's Spirit enables us to act in obedience to His will all the time. Every rebellion of heart is mellowed down and brought into obedience to His will when the Spirit of the Lord works in a willing person.
The Lord is delighted by a heart that is submitted and seeking after Him for a crooked heart is an abomination to Him (Prov. 11:20). This is the sure way of blessing after blessing. The greatest of His blessing is that which He promises in V.28 onwards. This portion was the theme of Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost and it brought in 3000 souls to their Saviour. Ever since then how much more has been achieved in the history of church.
Everywhere the pattern remains the same— Repent, Return and Receive. The outpouring of blessing is a natural outcome of our return to God. But many a time, people ignore the warning given by God and only return after disaster strikes. It will be well with our soul if we keep "the Day of the Lord" in our minds. God wants each of us to repent and turn to Him while there is time so that we may not be rejected at the final Day of Judgment. The signs of His Second Coming as spoken by Jesus is recorded in Matthew 24. These signs are seen and heard and no one can be ignorant of this inevitable truth.
Yes, there is a day of reckoning, but the trumpet of Gospel is blown in all the nations of the earth; God is giving ample time for everyone to repent and return to God, who is waiting to bless them abundantly. 2 Peter 3: 9[NLT] says: “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” All those who have repented and returned received this sure blessing of His Spirit by which we are sealed until His coming (Ephesians 4:30). This started on the day of Pentecost and is still continuing. Repent today, Return to God the Father, Receive the spirit of Sonship.
Prayer: Lord my God, we come to you with a repentant heart; we are ready to mend our ways so that we shall be blessed. We thank you for your Holy Spirit by which we are sealed until redemption. In Jesus name. Amen.