The word of God is calling us to come out of our religious rhetoric and placating piety to convey a message to the body of Christ as well as the world that it’s the inside that counts. Enough of just doing “just to do.” Enough of putting on. Enough of walking around, looking good on the outside and torn up on the inside. It’s time to get in proper order, rend our heart and not our garments, and turn unto the Lord our God.
The people of Judah had become prosperous and complacent. They were taking God for granted. They had turned to self-centeredness, idolatry, and sin. In the beginning of the book, Joel has a message from God for the people of Judah. “Tell your children of your history. Tell them how God has been faithful. Tell them how God has never left you nor forsaken you. Tell them how God has had grace and mercy upon you.” Joel declares that the Lord says turn to me now, while there is still time. Give me your hearts. He didn’t ask for our money, he didn’t ask for our marriages, he didn’t ask for our children, he didn’t ask for the car, the house, or anything else. God said give me your heart. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.