Joel 2: 12-13
“Yet even now,” declares YHWH, “turn to me with ALL your heart and with fasting and weeping and with mourning.”
“And TEAR your heart, NOT your clothing, and turn back to YHWH your Elohim. For He shows favour and is compassionate, patient and of great loving-commitment and He shall relent concerning the evil.”
There are two instructions that will be deliberated on:
1. Turn to YHWH with ALL your heart.
Let us contemplate the word ALL. All encompasses everything, not excluding part of or hiding something. If we take this a step further we can say we need to make sure our heart is undivided, unobstructed and uncomplicated. The prefix un- meaning not to be. To present all of your heart requires of you to be in a place where it is just yourself in the presence of YHWH – in His presence, at His feet.
To turn to YHWH implies that you are focused on Him, facing Him and presenting yourself before Father. You bring yourself before Him in fasting and weeping, which signifies repenting and recognition of sin. Your dependency on the forgiveness, mercy and grace of Elohim.
2. Tear your heart, not your clothing.
It was a Jewish custom to rip clothing as ah external demonstration of great sorrow, repentance or shame. However, the depth of the repentance, sorrow or shame was not known to man. YHWH does not look upon the outer of man, but He considers the heart to be of great importance. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But YHWH said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for not as man sees, for man looks at the eyes, but YHWH looks at the heart.”
This very statement engenders an urgency surrounding the internalising of repentance, making repentance a matter of the heart and conducted yourself and Elohim. It calls for an earnestness in true repentance. Tearing our clothing does not suffice and YHWH requires more than apologies and shedding tears. In verse 12, reference is made to coming with weeping and fasting, yet in verse 13 a third dimension is added – ‘And tear your heart..’ To come into His presence and truly repent, to break open hearts internally for eternity. To break down walls of pride, “I got this, I will work through this- not such a big deal.” Too often a sermon hits the mark and a prayer is mumbled, then we move on and hide the sin in our heart. Or we mumble our “I forgive you” but hide the wound deep in our heart. Then we are surprised when we become embittered, angry or depressed.
Tear your heart before YHWH. Break it open – let ALL of it be open before Elohim. Repent, dig out the hurt, wounds and sin, these things are not conducive to a healthy relationship with YHWH or others. The neglected issues that you considered dealt with, but were harbouring for a day of revenge (forgive but not forget) hinder a true relationship with YHWH. Hidden sin that comes to mind as guilty reminders are chinks in your armour and allows the lies of the enemy to stunt spiritual growth. The voice that whispers, “You’re not good enough, you use to do…” not only hampers your walk but will harbour disbelief and doubt in the love and promises that are yours as a child of a lovingly-committed God. The way to rid your heart of these things is to bring ALL of your heart and tear it before YHWH.
Once you have a broken heart, then Father is able to heal it. Redemption follows in verse 13, “…and turn back to YHWH your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient and of great loving-commitment and He shall relent (forgive) concerning the evil.”
Joel 2: 19 “And let YHWH answer and say to His people, “See I am sending you the grain and the new wine and the oil, and you shall be satisfied by the. And no longer do I make you a reproach among the nations.”
Joel 2: 28 “And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.”
If you have been feeling spiritually numb, that your prayers are bouncy balls and you are finding yourself discouraged, take three steps this morning.
Step 1: Come before Elohim with ALL your heart.
Step 2: Tear your heart, not your clothing – it is between the real you and YHWH – internal not external. An inner action out of love and dependency on Him. Not a reaction to a message or sermon.
Step 3: Turn back to your walk, your race and receive grain (Word), New wine (Yeshua, new life) and oil (anointing, sustenance for the race). Verse 28 refers to the pouring out of His Spirit on flesh. This is generously given, not dropped out or dribbled out but poured out.
Be encouraged, be alive and know that when you repent you are forgiven, cleansed and healed so that you can fulfil the plan He has for you, a plan of good and not evil, to give you expectancy and hope. A life that when aligned with His will brings glory to the Father through the Son.