“Rend your heart, and not your garments.” (Joel 2:13, NIV)
Even in Israel’s rebellion and disobedience, God still made a way for its salvation. He hoped His people would repent and return to Him, so that He could relent from the promised punishment.
God longed, though, for Israel’s repentance to be genuine. “Rend your heart, and not your garments,” He instructed. In other words, “I want sincere heart change, not just a hollow, outward display of sorrow.”
What “garments” do I rend? If I say pious-sounding words, are they sincere? When I stand in church and sing of my devotion to God, is my heart in it? God doesn’t want me to merely go through the motions of confession. He wants my heart.
God, be honored in my outward actions and in my hidden motives. Find my sorrow genuine and my devotion, real. Rend my heart. Purify it until it reflects Your own. Amen.