God’s Response to Repentance

Joel 2:18-27

In the first part of this chapter, Joel has set up a picture, a picture in which the people have been in open and gross rebellion against God, and God has sent a serious plague upon them. Then the prophet calls upon the people to repent of their wickedness and to change their hearts, not to simply provide outward display; he has called them to get real and right with God. Now in these verses it is God’s turn to respond, and what a response!

In verse 18 we see that God became “jealous” for His land and took pity on His people in their repentance. What we see in v. 18 is the depth of God’s love for His people. Did you notice the change in tense? Joel is speaking in the past tense which clues us in to the fact that this is archetype; it is for all times and peoples.

God takes away the “locusts”, takes away their suffering and once again provides for the needs of His people. Now that they have turned away from their rebellion (sin) He provides them with abundant blessings. Take careful notice: By the time we come to the end of the passage, the people have been restored so completely it is as if they had never sinned. Of course that should come as no surprise, for I told you in the beginning that Joel’s is a messianic prophecy. God is once again dwelling with His people in a very special way, now that the people have been delivered from judgment.

Joel 2:28-32

These verses enable us to nail down Joel’s discussion as being without question messianic in nature, for they are quoted by Peter in his address to the crowds on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17-21). Peter as you know, told the crowd that day after the Holy Spirit had come to the Apostles, the pouring out of the Spirit at that time, was exactly what Joel had foretold. Jesus Messiah had come to earth bringing the good news of reconciliation between God and Man, and had then willingly gone to the cross so that His blood could be shed to take away the sins of Mankind; this is what Joel was alluding to in the previous verses. After that, came Pentecost and the pouring out of the Spirit thereby giving a sign to all humanity that God had carried out His purpose.

Now we can easily see why the crowd was so quickly impacted by Peter’s address to them, for they had come to recognize that on that very day, God was doing His greatest work; redeeming humanity.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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11 Responses to God’s Response to Repentance

  1. Russ P. says:

    What does “get real and get right with God” look like. How does one know if they’ve done those things and are receiving forgiveness and mercy from God. In other words does it take me a day to do this or must I do this for a week, a month, etc. I hope you get my drift. Looking forward to your reply.

    • Don Merritt says:

      For a Christian it refers to the quality of our relationships with our Lord and our desire to go deeper with Him. It isn’t about checking off items in a checklist or going through a course of study or anything like that, it is surrendering ourselves to His care. That doesn’t mean we have attained any kind of perfection, but that we are on The Way with Him.

  2. Its hard to wrap your head around the concept of being washed so clean by Jesus’s blood that it’s as if our sins never existed. I think that’s part of the problem being constantly conscious and concentrating on them giving them way too much attention we get bogged down in what we were before we met Jesus instead of fully embracing our transformed identity in Christ. I know fake repentance cos I’ve treated God like a casual acquaintance for far too long but now is the time for true change. I don’t want to be the foolish virgin caught without spare matches for her candle. I want my heart to be ready for our saviors imminent return to earth 😇

  3. Pete says:

    A Christian lives a life of repentance. We examine our lives regularly. If you’ve read the Psalms, David is the perfect picture of this. The result of this kind of walk is a joy and a peace that are overwhelming ?

  4. What a wonderful God to move so eagerly when we repent.

  5. Pingback: God’s Response to Repentance — The Life Project – My Christian Journey

  6. Pingback: God’s Response to Repentance | The Life Project | franciscansonthemountains

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