“JOEL: The Years the Locust Has Eaten”

On Nov. 10, Pastor Jim preaches on Joel 2:23-27.

23 O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.

26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Everyone has messed up in life; it’s only a matter of degree. I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, “No Regrets. As I understand it, this motto is popular among the tattooed. I’m not sure I could wear such a saying on my back and certainly not on my upper arm. I have regrets.

“Old Blue Eyes” sang the words, “Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” Most folks who are honest with themselves have some regrets.

In Psalm 51:3 King David said, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” The New English Version puts it this way: “For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.

The prophet Joel describes the consequences of sin being like a swarm of locusts that flies into our lives and destroys everything. It’s a striking image of what rebellion can do.

Think back over your life. Consider the “crop damage” done by your own rebellion. Depressing!

And yet God is the master of restoration. The prophet cries out to the brokenhearted, regretful people, “I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter…”

We’ll think more about locusts and restoration on Sunday. See you in church.