God delivers those whose hope is in His unfailing love. Psalm 33:18 records that “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love”. This was the reminder from the Lord when He spoke to me today through Joel 2: 12 – 17, a warning to the people, “a call to repentance”.
The prophet Joel says in v12-14: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God”?
In these verses, our just and righteous God who brings judgement upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness, calls out to His people to repent and to turn from their evil ways. He offers them time to turn to Him, but warns them that destruction is coming. God will forgive His people if they come to Him in sincere repentance; but whether He will remove their affliction, is not promised. The mere possibility of this, however, should encourage us to repent.
v15-17 reads: “Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly, call the people” . This is the “second trumpet”, a call to the nation to repentance and contrition before God. Referring to Joel 2:1, the people were first called to: “Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near”. This is the “first trumpet”, the sound of alarm for “impending danger”.
v16-17 follows saying “Gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say: Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?” In these verses, the Lord is calling “all” to a national repentance, to be exercised for His glory, to qualify them for His gracious returns in mercy.
The priests and leaders are to appoint a solemn fast, seeking the good Lord to spare them. God is ready to help His people, pointing us to His divine grace, for He has compassion on those who fear Him. 1 Peter 5:10 confirms this saying “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”.
Family of God, my dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, let us heed the Word of God, for His love is made complete in the one who obeys. This call from the Lord warrants action, starting with ourselves, before we can stand in the gap to intercede for our families, our church, our work place, our community, our government and nation. We can make a difference for our gracious God hears our prayers. Let us always remember the confirmation of 1 John 2:5 that “whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this, we may know that we are in Him”.
Amen and Amen!