The Minor Prophet, Joel, writes about the “Day of the Lord” which is a common theme in many of the prophets who wrote around and on either side of time of the exile. The particular section of Joel chapter 1 verses 13-20 seems to be directed towards the priests and the elders but can be interpreted and used by us as God’s People. Why is it important to repent? Well, if you want to live in peace and the encompassing joy found in the presence of the Father then repenting (confessing and not just saying sorry), is what is desired to take part in the Salvation of our souls.
In the opening verse of this section the priests are told to literally humble themselves because the sacrifices and offerings no longer please God. Joel is exclaiming the coming of the day where a more personal relationship with be required and sacrifices will take on a whole new meaning. The physical sacrifices are withheld because the personal sacrifices and repentance have a more relational meaning to God than just burning something and eating it.
God seeks the true emotions of a man rather than the physical “I’m sorry” an leaving it at that. The deeper emotional response of repentance means you are confessing then committing yourself to make things right by exclaiming to the world your relationship with God. We as Christians do this while exclaiming our personal relationship with Christ especially if it comes from recognizing and repenting from a dark period in our lives. And God knows we all have had a few of those (well He does).
Joel tells the elders to gather the people and bring them together as an act of public mourning and repentance for falling away from God. This was also a call to prepare for the coming day of the Lord, the day of the destroyers function and God’s salvation of His People. When the dreadful day comes, all will seem lost to those who do not know God, have followed His precepts, truly repented of their sins, and accepted their fate belonging to Christ and not themselves. We must be ready for this day as well.
The “Day of the Lord” will soon be upon us if you look at all the astronomers and nay Sayers, dreamers of dreams, and some who are just talking through their teeth to make a buck. What some do is try to date it using the lunar calendar, the feasts, and other events in Judaism. Can they all be trusted? No. Should we at least pay some attention? If the credible person is speaking and has no other prophesy about the world ending then maybe. Christians and Jews who follow God’s Law and have repented will see the suffering, they might suffer a little but joy will come in the morning.
Brothers and Sisters, the time is now to confess, repent, commit. Accept Jesus fully before it is too late. Even the best Christians still need to repent every once in a while. So Go Do.