Sermons

Summary: God knows His children will stray but has always given them access back to His blessings. He will go to any length to bring us back.

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Rend Your Hearts and Not Your Garments

Joe Mack Cherry

Text: Joel 2: 12-14

Purpose: To see lengths at which God will go to bring His children back to him,

to see what God requires to come back, and to see how greatly God blesses the penitent heart.

I. Introduction

A. The Times (circa 835 BC)

1. II Kings 11 & II Chr. 24: 7

a. King Ahaziah has died in battle his mother Queen Athaliah seized

power by the process of eliminating murderously heirs to the throne.

b. 835 BC was approximately the 6th year of her reign.

c. She was very, very evil.

1. Her grandfather was Omri. At the time of his reign, he was

deemed the most wicked king to date. (I Kings 16: 25-26)

2. She authorized the desecration of the temple.

3. Idol worship was the norm.

2. God was fed up!

a. Deut. 8: 19 – Read

b. God deals with it in a way that Judah can understand.

B. God Uses the Mouth of the prophet Joel and a Locust Invasion

1. Joel 1 – Joel calls for national repentance.

2. This was a literal plague that resulted in utter devastation to the

country.

a. A locust will lay 65K-75K/sq m/ of theses 60K will hatch

b. This plague would have lasted about 5 mo.

c. It took 7 years for the land to recover.

d. Plants were stripped, trees were debarked, and erosion became a

serious problem because rain simply ran off.

3. In 1915 Palestine was hit by a locust plague: each man/boy 16-60 was

required to pick up 11 lbs. of eggs/day til there were no more.

C. God Withdraws Fellowship from Judah.

1. The meal offering and the drink offering could not happen because

there was nothing to offer.

2. This was God’s way of fellowshipping with the Priest.

3. God also gives them hope.

a. Read Text

b. Gen. 30: 1-10

II. Lesson

A. The Locust Plague Left Judah Devastated

1. God was the Commander of the Locust Army. Joel 2: 11

2. History tells us that Judah did not repent until Tiglath Pileser III (Pul)

invaded Judah and made off with the treasures. The locust were liter-

al but also symbolic of the Persian invasion. * Pul was not a Persian!

He was one bad dude!

3. The locust plague was a harbinger or shadow of the invasion men-

tioned above. Joel uses the plague to describe the Day of Jehovah!

4. Refer back to Joel 1: 2 – Read

5. God will go to any lengths to bring his children back to Him.

a. Can you think of other examples? 40 yrs. in the Wilderness – more?

b. God really isn’t always interested in our comfort.

c. He always saved a remnant.

B. What God Wants

1. God tells Judah through Joel to rend their hearts and not their

garments.

2. The devastation had left Judah sorry because of the loss of food and

luxury. It’s like us being sorry for getting caught and not sorry for

transgressing God’s law.

3. Sometime God will alienate Himself from someone in order to get them

back.

4. God wants TRUE REPENTANCE!!!!

a. True repentance requires Godly sorrow. II Cor. 7: 10

b. Joel 1: 13-14 – Put on sackcloth and wail; true repentance usually

invokes tears.

1. Remember what Peter did when he realized he had denied Christ?

2. Remember what Manassas did when he was captured.

II Chr. 33: 10-13.


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