“Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12
The tone of the prophet Joel changes from today’s verse to the end of his God given message. The phrase “‘Even now,’ declares the LORD” announces a wonderful possibility. And that possibility is that Yahweh is a God of mercy and compassion to repentant sinners. Even the worst king of Judah, Manasseh, who sinned more heinously than all the rest, repented and received forgiveness, see 2 Chronicles 33:10-13. The phrase “declares the LORD” is a solemn promise. And today’s passage is the only place where this phrase appears in Joel. We must remember that Solomon’s prayer was answered by the Lord, who promised that he would forgive and heal the land from a locust, see 2 Chronicles 7:12-16, but the Lord required genuine and sincere repentance from the people for this to happen.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Numbers 6-7, Mark 12:38-13:13, Psalm 49:1-20 and Proverbs 10:27-28