March 14th, 2021
Title - “Sequence Not Magic" Joel 2: 12-27
The big idea—Repentance leads to God’s forgiveness and restoration of both the individual and the community; however, "Repentance" isn't about a quick, mindless "I'm sorry." The repentance that leads to forgiveness and restoration must be "Genuine" and it must be done by us and by our people. It must be "Authentic." While it begins with us, it doesn't end with us. Genuine repentance produces transformative change and it is contagious.
The time to repent is now. We must begin the sequence of getting reacquainted with God and God's purpose in our lives. This is a journey, not a magic trick. Repentance cannot be a last-minute decision or an afterthought reaction.
While little is known about the Prophet Joel, we do know that he is a different kind of prophet. Unlike other prophets who condemned idolatry, injustice, or other specific sins of the people of God, Joel simply calls for repentance without describing the sin committed. He has an expectation that we know our Sin. We have an awareness of our idolatry, injustice, or other specific sins, and that our behavior has not gone unnoticed... That the prophet knows, that God knows that we know.
Joel calls the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem to lament and return to the Lord during a time of national disaster. A locust plague has destroyed both wine (1:5, 7, 12) and grain (1:10). This threatens the people’s ability to present offerings in the temple (1:9, 13, 16).
The central message of the book of Joel is "God will always be against our sin and will judge us for it, however, God will always offer a way out... The good news is that "This" way out is within our reach.
The book of Joel teaches about the power of the combined prayers and fasting of God’s people during a time of great difficulty in Israel’s history. “Joel assured the people that through genuine repentance they would again receive the blessings of God”