Joel 2-3: Call on the Name of the Lord
December 7, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The day of the LORD is coming (2:1), but will it be the kind of day that God’s people had expected? No, “a day of darkness and gloom” (2:2). It is too easy to trivialize heaven, life after death, as nothing more than playing a harp on a cloud, the pearly gates, and expect that everyone gets to live a good life after death whatever they have believed or done. Not so, says God; that day, for those outside of faith in Christ, is a day of darkness and gloom.
But there is hope (2:12). “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart.” True, honest repentance with integrity from the heart will meet with approval and acceptance. “Rend your hearts and not your garments” (2:13).
People have always tried to assuage their consciences with external devotion. But what God requires is to love mercy and justice and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8); this is the one that God esteems: he who is humble and contrite in heart and trembles at God’s word (Isaiah 66:2). If we return to the LORD our God, “he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster” (2:13).
Joel urges them to repent publicly, and for God’s leaders to lead the way in corporate repentance (2:15-17). If that happens, “then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people” (2:18). There will be rejoicing and gladness (2:21). In fact, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (2:25). God has a way even of redeeming the time that we have wasted in sin, to redeem it for his glory and for our great joy. It is not too late! Turn to him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (2:32).
Now there is a new “day” in store: “in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water” (3:18). Great blessing, joy, and abundance for those who repent and put their trust in God.
Would you turn to God today and put your trust in him that you might know great joy? So that on that “day,” that great and terrible day when you meet with God after death or when Jesus returns, whichever comes first, on that “day” it is for you a day of celebration? Repent and call on God that you might be saved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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