Valley of Decision - Promises for the Repentant
TITLE: Promises for the Repentant
TEXT: Joel 2:18-32
TASK: To encourage believers concerning the promises of God for the repentant.
TEACH: As there is a curse wrapped up in the best things God gives the wicked; so there is a blessing wrapped up in the worst things He brings upon His own. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s, so there is a blessing wrapped up in a godly man’s sickness. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s strength, so there is blessing wrapped up in a godly man’s weakness. As there is a curse wrapped up in a wicked man’s wealth, so there is a blessing wrapped up in a godly man’s wants. As there is curse wrapped up in a wicked man’s honor, so there is a blessing wrapped up in a godly man’s reproach.
TRUTH: We are intended to assume that Joel’s appeals preserved in the preceding part of the book were successful. Evidently the people did gather to a national service of fasting and lamentation, and the priests duly offered prayers on behalf of a genuinely repentant community. It was Joel’s privilege, of which his earlier efforts surely made him worthy, to be the bearer of an oracle of salvation. The crisis was to be averted; the tide of calamity that threatened to engulf the community was to turn.
A. Restore what was lost. The crises was diverted. The tide of calamity that threatened to engulf the community was to turn. “See how ready God is to succor and relieve his people, how, he waits to be gracious; as soon as they humble themselves under his hand and pray, seeking his face, he immediately meets them with his favor.” (Matthew Henry) :
B. They were aroused strong and deep emotions in his heart: Joy, Peace, Hope.
i. God has an eye for His honor. (covenant promises)
ii. God has an eye to their distress. He will have pity and restore them.
A. The continuation of the oracle looks forward to a bountiful harvest in terms that would make any farmers eyes glisten. What the locusts cut off is now being restored.
i. I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil (2:19,24)
ii. I will no more make you a reproach among the nations (2:19, 26-27).
iii. I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten (21-25).
B. Invitation to be burdened souls. Many are under the weight of sin, under the worry of society, under the weakness of sickness. Christ offers an opportunity for us to be under the wonder of our Savior. The land was weary land, thirsty land, scorching country, a chaotic place, with many inconvenience, no water, vehement heat, weary and long for shelter. :
- He is my Present Provision: present help, present shelter, present comfort.
- He is my Immense Provision: more than enough, completely satisfies.
- He is my Necessary Provision: the want of the earthly may trouble you but want of the heavenly will damn you.
- He is my Universal Provision: all who call upon the name will be saved.
- He is my Blessed Provision: all my sins are washed away. (Thomas Brooks)
Illustration: Mike Morris “who said “I’m so glad the Lord brought me back before all this happened.
A. The instruments of His wrath, now needed no more. The oppressive burden which had sapped their strength, but soon they would know the sweet relief of freedom from this affliction.
i. When they made peace with God, he eased them from the invasion.
ii. I will remove the northerner far from you (20)
B. What God used as instruments of wrath. God now turns against their enemies. How pleasant is a shelter in such a place to the weary traveler. Such is Christ to His people in the world. Nothing less than the great rock will be sufficient shelter in this weary land.
i. Those who made them and the land barren and desolate will be driven out and made barren and desolate. “When affliction has done its work, it shall be removed in mercy.” (Matthew Henry)
Illustration: Riding to the mountains and seeing the barn. The man who built his house upon the rock.
IV. Promise of Power (28-32)
A. 3 strophes
- Outpouring of God’s Spirit in prophecy (28,29)
- Cosmic sings heralding Day of the Lord (30,31)
- Security of His people (32)
- Before just prophets, now all flesh.
The might and power of God: Come from the Heart of Christ. It is the Bearer of Christ’s life. He is the Revealer of Christ. He communicates Christ to us. -Andrew Murray
B. In the negative since, we are not to grieve the Spirit, nor quench the Spirit. In the positive since, we are to be filled with the Spirit. Empowered by the Spirit to be the Lord’s witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, unto the utter most parts of the globe.
But the message is nevertheless clear. If the people of God will return to him with all their heart, then he will hear from heaven, turn back his wrath, restore them, and heal their land.
TAKE-AWAY: Be glad and rejoice! Both are imperatives.
1. The needs for continual repentance.
2. The need for continual rejoicing.
TIE-UP: As there is a curse wrapped up in all a wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing wrapped up in all a godly man’s crosses, losses, and changes.