Tear your heart, not your clothes

Joel Bible Background

12.13.2018 – Old Testament: Joel 2.12–14

To read the Bible in a year, read Joel on December 13, In the year of our Lord Christ 2018

By Don Ruhl

Sometimes the children of Israel made great demonstrations at the report of bad news by tearing their clothes or throwing dust up into the air to land on their heads. One such form of bad news would be the discovery of their sin. However, it was not the tearing of their clothes that impressed the Lord, but something else:

“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.
Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the LORD your God?
(Joel 2.12–14)

He wants to see a heart broken over its sin and then for that person to return to Him and He will graciously receive that person back.

Questions:

  • How do you know when someone is sincere in their repentance?
  • Are you sincere when you repent?

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