Saturday, June 12, 2021

2021.06.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joel 2:12–17

Read Joel 2:12–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is speaking in Joel 2:12? What does He say to do? With how much of what? And with what three activities? What does He tell them to tear/rend (Joel 2:13)? And to what to return? For what four characteristics of the Lord, and what one action? What is still a possibility (Joel 2:14)? What form would such a blessing take? What does He tell them to blow (Joel 2:15)? Where? What to consecrate? What to call? Whom to gather (Joel 2:16)? Whom to sanctify? Whom to assemble? Whom else to gather? And which two specific people from which locations? Whom does Joel 2:17 address? What are they to do where? Who gives them what to pray? Whom are they to pray that they would be spared? Whom not to be given to reproach? What would this reproach look like? And then what would be said among whom? 

To what to repent, Joel 2:12a–b, Joel 2:13b. Often, we focus upon from what we are to repent. But the focus here is almost entirely upon to Whom we are to repent. The main thing, after all, isn’t leaving the sin—though that is absolutely necessary. The main thing is coming to the Lord!

In what manner to repent, Joel 2:12b–Joel 2:13a. With all your heart. With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Rending your heart and not your garments. There are half-hearted things that look like repentance but aren’t. There’s repentance that has the appearance of intensity and the indicated actions, but isn’t genuine. But the Lord commands repentance that is intense complete (Joel 2:12b), intense (verse 12c), and genuinely from the soul.

Why to repent, Joel 2:13c–e. Because of how wonderful this God is to Whom we are turning! Look at His graciousness! Look at how merciful/compassionate He is! Look at how patient and slow to anger! Look at His exceeding covenant love! Look at His forgiveness! Truly, this is a God worth turning to, and He is worthy of the glory that we will magnify by turning to Him. 

On what basis to repent, Joel 2:14. We repent on the basis of God’s freedom to bless (verse 14a–b). Repentance does not manipulate Him or force His hand (indeed, He is the One Who gives it, cf. Acts 11:18). Rather, it lays hold of His freedom in which He delights to display the character described in Joel 2:13 (cf. Romans 9:23–24). We know that He loves to forgive, so we play into His free pleasure when we come to Him in repentance.

With whom to repent, Joel 2:15-16. The entire holy assembly. The people. The congregation. The elders. The children. The nursing babes (there’s no one to young/unable). The bridegroom and bride (there’s no one too busy or with a higher-priority activity). Though each must repent from the core of who he is, with all that he is, if you haven’t become part of His holy assembly you have not biblically repented. The truly repentant are not just those who have turned from sin, but especially those who have been gathered unto the Lord with His people.

Through whom to repent, Joel 2:17. Repentance is led by priests, mediators who go between (verse 17a–b). God has given them the office, and God has given them the words. 

Ultimately, God has given us Jesus as our Priest through Whom we come to Him. And He has given us an entire Bible of Jesus’s words with which to do so (cf. 1 Peter 1:11). Repentance is through God Himself and for God Himself. For His people. For His heritage. For His honor among the nations and the peoples.

O dear reader, turn to the Lord, entirely and sincerely, for His great graciousness is glorified by receiving You and blessing You, together with all that holy assembly, whom He has set apart for His own glory!

Which aspect of biblical repenting in this passage offers you the most room for growth?

Suggested songs: ARP99A “Let the Nations Tremble” or TPH389 “Great God, What Do I See and Hear!”

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