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August 9, 2023 - Joel 1-3

Disaster has come upon the nation. Like a devouring locust storm, a mighty and merciless army has attacked. It is the day of the Lord, when he uses a powerful nation to judge his own people. Even in the midst of it all, though, the Lord pleads with his people: “Even now, turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster” (2:12,13).

How many times, though Israel has spurned him, does God cry out to the nation, plead with them to return to him, and offer blessing! And, it seems, almost as many times as the Lord offers, the nation refuses. But there is this. Time and time again, the Lord reaches out. Time and time again, the people have the opportunity to return to him. For us, though we have sinned and repented before, and though we have sinned again, yet God calls out to us to turn one more time, and one more time, and one more time. The people should have pleaded, and let us always plead, with Fanny Crosby:

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,

Hear my humble cry,

While on others Thou art calling,

Do not pass me by.

Trusting only in Thy merit,

Would I seek Thy face;

Heal my wounded, broken spirit,

Save me by Thy grace. -- Fanny Crosby (1868)

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