Second Chances

Don’t think the prophets were all about doom and gloom—there is more to prophecy than that. Joel 2:1-19 is a two-toned message. Joel began by trumpeting a warning of impending judgment in the form of a ravaging army from the north. However, he emphasized that God might still relent of evil and restore His blessing to Judah.

Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
(Joel 2:12-14)

In Joel 2:12-19 God offered Judah one last chance to get right with Him. Notice the action words: return to Me, fast, weep, mourn, rend your hearts, sanctify the congregation. If you hear a prophecy of impending flames of wrath, listen for the fire escape clause—God always provides a path to restored relationship with Him.

Isaiah 58:1-14 contains a similar appeal. The passage begins, “Cry loudly, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet [shofar], and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Judah their sins.” The nation reckoned they were righteous and delighting in God. So why didn’t God answer them? Isaiah lays out the national hypocrisy—going through the religious motions while abusing their workers and ignoring the needy.

God took the definition of a fast beyond abstaining from food. If the nation would also end oppression and take care of the hungry and afflicted then God would answer her and she would reap the full blessings of His presence. Righteousness is immensely practical. When we turn (back) to God it will show in our lives.

The prophetic trumpet always offers a second chance.

2 thoughts on “Second Chances

  1. Ranecielo

    Hi Earl,They way I see it is, when God decides to call you up in Heaven, then you shulod not ask Him to let you live for more. I believe God knew that Hezekiah would become worse in those last 15 years, but since Hezekiah really really wanted to live, God decided to give him what he wants. So, I think Hezekiah became greedy and selfish in those last extra years of his life.Also, I don’t think that a prophecy is a punishment because some prophecies are good. Prophecies are more like warnings or precautions, so people would make a better decision about their choices or their way of life. I agree with you, if I would be Hezekiah then I would too repent and feel like I must have done something that God did not like.Another really good detail, in the next chapter we see what kind of Hezekiah’s son really is. God didn’t punish Hezekiah, God warned Hezekiah through a prophecy about what’s to come when his sons (or generations) will reign. Hezekiah shulod definitely have improved the way he raises his kids but it doesn’t look like he even cared.Hope this answer with my opinions or thoughts help you in some way 🙂

    Reply
    1. John Avery Post author

      Thanks for the comment. I would appreciate you sharing the website with others who might be blessed.

      Reply

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