Joel 2:12–17 (NKJV)
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him—A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?
God calls His people to repentance amist their mourning. He reminds them of His nature–compassionate and full of grace. However, He calls them to a different type of repentance: a repentance of heart, not a repentance of form. “Rend your heart, and not your garments” means that God is looking for a true repentance on a spiritual and emotional level, rather than a ceremonial tearing of one’s clothes. As a result, the Lord will begin a process of restoration, provision, and healing.
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ”
The Lord calls the people to come together in a solemn meeting to fast and pray. Their lives have not glorified God, neither have they worshipped Him only and rightly. Therefore, they are instructed to call upon God for deliverance and help for their sinful life, and to be delivered from their enemies. It is time for all the people of God to repent and seek His holy face. Repentance will bring healing, and healing will allow men and women to once again live in the blessings of God. Mourn, repent, and be healed!