Joel 2:14
Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him--grain and drink offerings to the LORD your God.
Sermons
Encouragements to HopeB. Beddome, M. A.Joel 2:14
Leaving Blessings BehindJ. R. Miller.Joel 2:14
Modest ExpectationJoel 2:14
The Hope of ReconciliationJ.R. Thomson Joel 2:14
The Hope of RepentanceBishop Brownrigg.Joel 2:14
Conversion unto GodE. Blencowe, M. A.Joel 2:12-14
Exhortation to RepentanceW. Mudge.Joel 2:12-14
FastingWilliam Fisher, B. A.Joel 2:12-14
Fasting, and Duties Connected with ItC. Moore, M. A.Joel 2:12-14
God's Design in Sending AfflictionWilliam Beckett.Joel 2:12-14
God's MercySunday MagazineJoel 2:12-14
Humiliation and ConfessionJ. M. Sherwood, D. D.Joel 2:12-14
National and Personal FastingHarry Jones.Joel 2:12-14
On National RepentanceE. Edwards.Joel 2:12-14
Penitence and ConversionJohn Ellerton, M. A.Joel 2:12-14
RepentanceBishop Brownrigg.Joel 2:12-14
Repentance RecommendedSketches of Four Hundred SermonsJoel 2:12-14
Repentance, a Rending of the HeartJ. Benson.Joel 2:12-14
Soul-ReformationHomilistJoel 2:12-14
The Characteristics and Encouragements of True RepentanceJ. S. Exell, M. A.Joel 2:12-14
The Day of Humiliation a National ObligationRichard Jones, B. A.Joel 2:12-14
The First Day of LentW. Walsham How, D. D.Joel 2:12-14
The Perfection of the Mercy of GodB. Whichcote, D. D.Joel 2:12-14
The Rent Heart Better than the Rent GarmentJ. M. Blackcie, LL. B.Joel 2:12-14
The Right Use of CalamitiesGeorge Hutcheson.Joel 2:12-14
Thoughts for LentJ. Burgon, M. A.Joel 2:12-14
Turning to the LordBishop Andrewes.Joel 2:12-14
This language is figurative, and may be deemed by some open to the charge of anthropomorphism. Yet it is very simple, very natural, and very expressive. God is represented as a king and warrior, who has been offended by his subjects, and who has come down from his palace at the head of his army, to chastise the rebellious; but who has been met with the language of submission and supplication, and whose wrath is averted, so that it is hoped that, instead of punishing he may. show mercy,.and may return to his palace, leaving behind him some tokens of his favour and forgiveness.

I. WHEN MEN THINK OF THEIR OWN ILL DESERTS, THEY MAY WELL FEAR THE CONSEQUENCES OF GOD'S NOTICE AND ACTION.

II. BUT WHEN THEY THINK OF GOD'S CHARACTER AND PROMISES, THEY MAY WELL CHERISH THE HOPE THAT HE WILL HAVE MERCY UPON THEM.

III. WHEN FAITHFUL AND REPENTANT, MEN MAY LOOK, NOT MERELY FOR THE REMISSION OF JUSTLY THREATENED PENALTIES, BUT FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF UNDESERVED BLESSINGS.

APPLICATION. If we were to think chiefly of our own sins and unworthiness, the utmost that we could do would be to cherish some faint hope that mercy might be extended to us. Those untaught by revelation, if they have any sense of their sinfulness, cannot go beyond this: "Who can tell if he will repent?" But those who are in possession of the glad tidings which are by Jesus Christ will be guilty of distrusting and dishonouring God, if this be their mental attitude. They have the express assurances of "him who cannot lie," and who has promised that the penitent and believing sinner shall be pardoned, and put into the enjoyment of all spiritual blessings. They are not, therefore, at liberty to doubt, but are bound to credit and to act upon the revelation of a faithful and merciful God. - T.







Who knoweth but He will turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him.
I. THE OBJECTS OF THE PROPHET'S HOPE.

1. That the Lord would return. This can only be in a way of manifestation; all idea of place or motion being utterly incompatible with a being who fills heaven and earth. God is said to depart when, being provoked by the sins of any people, He withdraws His wonted assistance; and to return when, His anger being appeased, He again shews Himself favourable. There is sometimes a sad parting between God and His people; not owing to any want of faithfulness in Him, but to those things in them which awaken His resentment, as pride, self-confidence, carnality, and worldly-mindedness.

2. That He would "repent." Not change His nature or purposes, only His conduct. Though God cannot repent as men do, yet He may act as men do when they repent: He may cease to do what He had begun; He may revoke His threatenings, and recall His judgments.

3. He would "leave a blessing behind."

(1)God never comes to His people empty-handed.

(2)What God gives we should at least in part return.

II. THE NATURE OF THIS HOPE. It rises no higher than a peradventure, lest they should sink into despondency, or lest they should give way to presumption and carnal security. Their hope must be mixed with fear, and their joy with trembling. A possibility — and much more, a probability — of obtaining mercy at the hand of God is a sufficient encouragement to a poor perishing sinner to seek, to trust in, and wait for Him.

III. THE CASES IN WHICH THIS HOPE, FOUNDED UPON A PROBABILITY OF ACCEPTANCE, MAY AFFORD ENCOURAGEMENT TO SOULS IN DISTRESS.

1. With respect to prayer.

2. With respect to repentance.

3. With respect to patient waiting upon God in seasons of trial.

4. With respect to our exertions for the good of others.Application.

1. Improve this consideration so as to restrain and keep under a peevish, fretful, and impatient spirit.

2. Learn that God's help is only to be expected in the use of appointed means. While we trust in the Lord, we must keep His way.

3. Let none persist in an evil course, on the presumption that He may find mercy at last.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)

— The manner of the expectation is very humble and modest: — "Who knows if He will?" Some think it is expressed thus doubtfully, to check the presumption and security of the people, and to quicken them to a holy carefulness and liveliness in their repentance. Or rather, it is expressed doubtfully, because it is the removal of a temporary judgment that they here promised themselves, of which we cannot be so confident as we can that, in general, God is gracious and merciful. There is no question at all to be made, but that if we truly repent of our sins God will forgive us and be reconciled to us, but whether He will remove this or the other affliction which we are under may well be questioned, and yet the probability of it should encourage us to repent. Promises of temporal good things are often made with a peradventure.

( Matthew Henry.)

The text is an encouragement to repentance, upon hope of mercy.

I. THE MATTER OF THEIR HOPE.

1. The regaining of God's grace and favour towards them.

2. The recalling of His threatenings and judgments.

3. The renewing of His mercies to them.

4. The re-establishing of His holy worship among them.For the understanding the nature of this mercy, this return of God to us, will afford us these three considerations —

1. It is our main happiness to enjoy God's presence, to have Him dwell amongst us.

2. It is the bitter fruit of sin, that it causeth God to withdraw His presence, and to turn away from us.

3. It is the blessed fruit of repentance, that it recovers God's presence, causeth God to return graciously to us.

II. THE MEASURE OF THEIR HOPE. This is somewhat strange. 'Tis but a cold encouragement, one would think; puts all their hopes upon a peradventure. 'Tis but "Who knows? It may be so"; that's all the assurance. It is a strange speech, seemingly contrary and inconsistent with God's goodness. It is inconsistent with His present invitation of them to repentance. It is in consistent with His present encouragement. It seems contrary to His absolute covenant and promise to pardon penitents. What shall we think of this kind of speech? Show how this inkling and intimation of hope may be useful.

(Bishop Brownrigg.)

In the Canton of Berne a mountain stream rushes in a torrent toward the valley, as if it would carry destruction to the villages below; but leaping from the sheer precipice of nearly nine hundred feet, it is caught in the clutch of the winds, and sifted down in fine, soft spray, whose benignant showering covers the fields with verdure. So sorrow comes, a dashing torrent, threatening to destroy us; but by the breath of God's Spirit it is changed as it falls, and pours its soft, gentle powers on our hearts, leaving rich blessings upon our whole life.

(J. R. Miller.)

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