Thursday, March 02, 2017

Power to restore—present and past

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joel 2:18-32

TO CHEW ON: “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the LORD your God
And there is no other:
My people shall never be put to shame.” Joel 2:25,27

The hinge word “Then” begins our reading (Joel 2:18) and promises a new direction. If Israel will repent in the way we read about yesterday, God will bring about many changes.

He will remove the enemy army - Joel 2:20
We’ve just read about that army, in Israel’s case an army of locusts (Joel 1:4, 6-7; 2:4,5). My Bible’s notes explain that the advance of a swarm of locusts is stopped by a wind that drives them into the sea. Their decaying remains smell bad.

God will restore natural cycles of rain needed to replenish foliage - Joel 2:24.
Soon there is a bumper crop.

God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten - Joel 2:25

This promise reminds me of Job. After “locusts” swarmed all over his life (Job 1:13-2:8) and he endured a season of illness and education, we read “And the LORD restored Job’s losses… Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job: 42:10).

  • Maybe our “locust’ trial is our fault—comes as a consequence of our sin and rebellion like it did with Israel. I have heard so many stories of, for example, drug addicts who have lost everything as a result of addiction.
(Yes, our society now considers addiction an illness which needs compassion and “harm reduction” measures. But at some point, the addict did make a decision to pop a pill, smoke a joint, inject a needle. Yes, they need compassion but also a change of heart on their part, a healing of hurts, and an openness to God’s deliverance for Him to restore those locust-ravished years.)
Or maybe our rebellion was greed and unwise spending, or involvement with the wrong crowd, or a relationship, entered into during a time of rebellion, that has turned toxic, or…
  • Or maybe our “locust’ trial is a spiritual battle of the variety Job went through. We may not have a clue about what’s at stake spiritually (as Job didn’t). It could be manifesting in business, health, relationships, etc.

Whatever it is, our reading today gives hope. God has the power to provide  what we need for today and to repair the past.

He does it for us and for  His glory:
“Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the LORD your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame” - Job 12:27

PRAYER: Dear Father, I pray for all who need locust years restored. Please do Your work in hearts and circumstances. We long for fortunes to be turned and old hurts healed as a glorious testimony to Your reality, power, and love. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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