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Annually on November 4
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. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing-- grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. (Joel 2:13, 14)
“Rend your heart.” That literally means “tearing your heart.” Not the physical one though.
In the book of Jeremiah, we read God telling the Israelites to circumcise their hearts or face his wrath.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done - burn with no one to quench it. (Jeremiah 4:4)
Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:19)”
Sometimes we really have to tear our hearts to see how much “wickedness” is really there inside.
Moses specifically writes why God made Israel wander in the desert for 40 years.
“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years; to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2)”
“to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart”
Does it take 40 years for God to know what’s in our hearts? Never! But with God’s knowing the faults in us, comes His plan to bring us to repentance and then receive His blessings.
If we humble ourselves before the Lord and are obedient to His Word, He will not withhold any blessings from us.
Posted by Dr. Johnson Cherian