Thursday, June 26, 2008

Soaking up Joel

It is a rainy morning. Just the kind of morning that plants need to sustain their growth. As plants need water, we need to be soaked daily in the Word of God. To remind us of who He is and who we are in Him.

This morning, I read from the Old Testament book of Joel.

Joel was a prophet of God from about 835 to 796 B.C. Like many other prophets, he was called to warn the people of Judah of God's impending judgment because of their sins, and to encourage the people to turn back to God.

The people had become both wealthy and complacent. Instead of recognizing God's hand of blessing, they took Him for granted and became self-centered and idolatrous. Joel warned the people that God would judge this kind of living.

The key verses in Joel's prophetic book are found in the second chapter, verses 12-13:

"Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God. for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.

In the midst of judgment, God offers an opportunity for repentance through the prophet Joel.

In these verses, Joel refers to Old Testament practice of tearing one’s clothes in a moment of grief. It was an outward sign of an inner heart response. [Circumcision and New Testament believer's baptism function in a similar way.]

The point of these two verses is that while God offers an opportunity for repentance, He desires more than a change in behavior; He wants repentance that results from a heart that returns to Him.

God wants to change our hearts, and then change the way we live. He invites us, we who have turned our hearts away from Him and gone our own way, to return to Him, a merciful God, with all our hearts.

4 comments:

Steve Snavely said...

Greetings from Highland Falls, NY! Deb Winnberg gave me your blogsite when she told me you had a son who would be coming to West Point this year. I am the pastor of Grace Baptist Church which is located just 2.5 miles from the front gate of West Point. During the school year we pick up cadets for our Sunday Morning Worship service and have a Bible Study on most Friday nights. It would be an honor to have your son join the other cadets who already come to the church. Our website is www.gracebaptistny.org. If you and your family are able to worship with us this Sunday we'd love to welcome you. If your son needs a place to stay Sunday evening, he is more than welcome to stay with us and we will see that he gets on post for his report time early Monday morning. If there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know. Pastor Snavely

Mrs. Schreck said...

Hey Mr. Bond,
You all look fantastic in your family picture! We are praying for you & your family. Give James our love. We will be thinking of him especially this weekend.
Love,
Mrs. Schreck & Mandie

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Cliff Family Blessings said...

Whew, nice site! Been a long time reading blogs. I was so caught up arranging a family blessings convention for my church. I’m glad to have a good read.