Joel 2:13 - Rend your heart, and not your garments.

Joel 2:13; Rend your heart, and not your garments.

Joel 2:13 (KJV)  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and 
turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to 
anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 

Deep remorse was often shown by tearing (rending) one's clothes. 
But God didn't want an outward display of penitence without true 
inward repentance. Be sure your attitude toward God is correct, not 
just your outward actions. [Life Application SB] 

Repentance isn't saying, "I'm sorry." It is a matter of the 
heart rather than of words, or even of actions. If our heart truly is 
broken by our sins, and we yearn to return to the Lord, then a change 
of life will follow. But it must begin in our hearts. [Victor Bible 
Reader's Companion] 

GARMENT-RENDING and other outward signs of religious emotion, 
are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel 
true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less 
common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial 
regulations-for such things are pleasing to the flesh-but true religion is too 
humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal 
men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. 
Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are 
pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self-righteousness is puffed up: but 
they are ultimately delusive, for in the article of death, and at the 
day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial than 
ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all 
religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of 
worship is a solemn sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of 
HEART-RENDING is divinely wrought and solemnly felt. It is a 
secret grief which is personally experienced, not in mere form, but as 
a deep, soul-moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the inmost heart 
of each believer. It is not a matter to be merely talked of and 
believed in, but keenly and sensitively felt in every living child of the 
living God. It is powerfully humiliating, and completely sin-purging; 
but then it is sweetly preparative for those gracious consolations 
which proud unhumbled spirits are unable to receive; and it is 
distinctly discriminating, for it belongs to the elect of God, and to them 
The text commands us to rend our hearts, but they are naturally 
hard as marble: how, then, can this be done? We must take them to 
Calvary: a dying Saviour's voice rent the rocks once, and it is as 
powerful now. O blessed Spirit, let us hear the death-cries of Jesus, and 
our hearts shall be rent even as men rend their vestures in the day 
of lamentation. [Spurgeon, Charles H., Morning and Evening, (Oak 
Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.] 

The object of the fast which God calls upon us to keep is not to 
afflict the body for the sin of the soul, but to aid us in perceiving 
the grievous character of sin, in humbling the heart before God and 
receiving His pardoning grace. His command to Israel was, "Rend your 
heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God." Joel 
It will avail nothing for us to do penance or to flatter 
ourselves that by our own works we shall merit or purchase an inheritance 
among the saints. When the question was asked Christ, "What shall we 
do, that we might work the works of God?" He answered, "This is the 
work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:28, 
29. Repentance is turning from self to Christ; and when we receive 
Christ so that through faith He can live His life in us, good works 
will be manifest. MB87,8