“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (Joel 2:13).TEXT — Joel 2:12-17
Manasseh the son of King Hezekiah was not like his righteous father. Taking over when his father died, he abandoned the true God and went on to worship all kinds of idols including the hosts of heaven. He used divination and witchcraft and made his children pass through the fire. So, God brought afflictions upon him through the king of Assyria who bound him with fetters and carried him to Babylon. And in his affliction, he besought the Lord and humbled himself before Him. God restored him to his kingship in Jerusalem. What a compassionate God!
The call in our passage for genuine repentance demands that people should rend their hearts and not just their garments. The ministers of God are to lead God’s people in such gatherings where fervent prayers are to be made to God with the ministers who should “weep between the porch and the altar” saying, “Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach…”.
It is never the intention of God that man should perish. But the fall of Adam corrupted humanity. God saw “that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). The world at that time was judged and later the nation of Israel came into being through Abraham. Through Jesus Christ, the Seed of Abraham, God has now made salvation available to all men.
True repentance is a genuine sorrow for wrongs done and a strong desire to desist from them.
God demands that genuine salvation be affected. Lack of true repentance has given birth to many counterfeit Christians, who believe they are saved but are not; hence, they cannot “bring forth…fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8). The people of Nineveh were saved from destruction when they genuinely repented. God is compassionate; He will forgive and save anyone who sincerely comes to Him in true penitence.
Thought for the day
God’s compassion reaches to depths beyond man’s imagination.
- in one year
- ACTS 11 – 12