Jul 24 2014

joel 225

Part 2

In the last post I wrote about God’s wake-up call to the people of Judah in the form of a devastating locust invasion. Basically everything had been destroyed by these creatures and the nation was left in ruins. But how do we get from this terrible wrath and destruction to a place where God promises that he will ‘Restore The Years?’

As you read on in Chapter 2, Joel uses the locust invasion to spark a conversation with Judah, to warn them about the coming day of judgement. As bad as the natural disaster of the locusts was, it will be nothing compared to what is to come unless they repent. Verse 1 reads ‘Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain.’ Joel is wanting to get the attention of everyone. Bad things are coming. ‘Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them…fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns…nothing escapes them.’ It sounds terrible and completely hopeless.

But (praise God for that conjunction!) God already had a plan to protect His people. Our sin completely separates us from Him. No matter how hard we work, no matter how good we try to be, we can never never restore our connection to Him. We will never, on our own, be able to endure the Day of Judgment. Thank the Lord for how things begin to turn around in verse 11. ‘Yet even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart…return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful.’ Woo hoo! That makes me want to shout for joy! Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the kind that gets overly excited about anything. I’m so much more a thinker than a feeler. But man, I can’t read those words without being filled with joy! ‘Yet even now…’ Even when Judah had hit rock bottom and kept going right on past it, God was there waiting anxiously. Even when they were as far from Him as they could get, He was there with a plan.


jumping for joy!

In our lives, there is no place that is too far away, too far gone. There is no place where His love and redemption cannot reach us. All we have to do is turn to Him with all of our hearts. He sent Christ to take care of the rest. If any one of us gives our heart to Him and places our faith in Jesus Christ, He has promised us, ‘Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice…the threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God…You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel…and my people shall never again be put to shame.’ Again, woo hoo! Not only will He make things right from now on, He will completely restore what had been lost before, and then some!

I truly believe that this promise applies to things both temporal and eternal. It is not a promise that all will be perfect all the time. It is a promise that He will be with you and you can be satisfied, no matter what happens in your life. It is a promise that you will be able to endure the Day of Judgement and stand with Him on the other side. Hallelujah!


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