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Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13NIV
Joel is a minor prophet but only because of the shortness of his work. He is known for the phrase, “Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord, " which prophesied the judgment that would come to Israel and called the people to repentance.
Jewish custom was to rip clothing as a visual sign of remorse or grief. The Israelites had not lost their acts of piety but had made those acts a show, a ritual that meant nothing ... for their hearts were far from God.
Joel’s cry is for the people to return to the “Heart of Worship.” This theme echoed in a popular chorus sung in churches today. God wants genuine, heartfelt prayer above all the trappings of religiosity.
What is on your heart today? Are you grieving?
Rend your heart and not your garments. For God is merciful and full of compassion.
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