Joel 2:12, 13
Therefore also now, said the LORD, turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:…
Therefore also now, etc. Observe here three things in relation to soul-reformation.
I. ITS PROCESS. Turning to the Lord, "Turn ye unto the Lord your God." The unregenerate man is an alien from God. Like the prodigal son, he has left his Father's house and gone into the "far country" of carnality and sin. Reform is turning and directing his steps back to God. Soul-reformation is not turning from one doctrine, or Church, or habit to another, but turning to God, going back with all its deepest love to him. But in turning there is deep moral contrition; there is "fasting," and "weeping," and "mourning," and the "rending of the heart." Soul-reformation begins in genuine repentance for past sins. "Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight .
II. ITS URGENCY. "Therefore also now, saith the Lord." Yes, now is the time; there is nothing more urgent; everything must make way for this; until this is done, nothing is done properly. Now:
1. Because the work is of the most paramount importance.
2. Because the time for accomplishing it is very short. Whatever other work you adjourn to a future time, for your soul's sake adjourn not this for a single hour.
III. ITS ENCOURAGEMENT. "For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." The word deprecateth would be better than "repenteth.' The inflicting of sufferings on his creatures is repugnant to his nature. "He desireth not the death of the sinner." What an encouragement it is to the sinner to turn to the Lord, to be assured that he will be welcomed with all the love and tender sympathy of an affectionate father! - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: