Trinity Church York

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Repentance: Tearing Your Heart
Joel 2:12-23

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Bible Passage

Joel 2:12–23 (Listen)

Return to the Lord

12   “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
    “return to me with all your heart,
  with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
  Return to the LORD your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
  slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.
14   Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him,
  a grain offering and a drink offering
    for the LORD your God?
15   Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    consecrate a fast;
  call a solemn assembly;
16     gather the people.
  Consecrate the congregation;
    assemble the elders;
  gather the children,
    even nursing infants.
  Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her chamber.
17   Between the vestibule and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep
  and say, “Spare your people, O LORD,
    and make not your heritage a reproach,
    a byword among the nations.1
  Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord Had Pity

18   Then the LORD became jealous for his land
    and had pity on his people.
19   The LORD answered and said to his people,
  “Behold, I am sending to you
    grain, wine, and oil,
    and you will be satisfied;
  and I will no more make you
    a reproach among the nations.
20   “I will remove the northerner far from you,
    and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
  his vanguard2 into the eastern sea,
    and his rear guard3 into the western sea;
  the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
    for he has done great things.
21   “Fear not, O land;
    be glad and rejoice,
    for the LORD has done great things!
22   Fear not, you beasts of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
  the tree bears its fruit;
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23   “Be glad, O children of Zion,
    and rejoice in the LORD your God,
  for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before.

Footnotes

[1] 2:17 Or reproach, that the nations should rule over them
[2] 2:20 Hebrew face
[3] 2:20 Hebrew his end

(ESV)