Thursday, March 23, 2017

Need for Repentance

Submitted by Lara Cook
The prophet Joel was selected by God to convey the message of woe and the need of repentance to the people of Judah:
Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions’ teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness. It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down their branches are made white. Joel 1:3-7
Wow, until I read these verses recently I had no idea that there was more than one kind of locusts.  What a nightmare for the Children of Israel!  Joel was a prophet who was commissioned by God to warn them about what would happen if they did not stop living in sin. Swarm after swarm, each one devouring what the previous swarm had left behind.  By the time the fourth wave of locusts had gone through, there was absolute desecration.  Nothing left.  Swarms of locusts were one of God’s ordinary punishments for sin at that time and in that country.  This is what sin does in our lives too.  When we don’t heed the voice of the Holy Spirit and turn from our sin back to Him, we might as well brace ourselves for the swarm that is coming.  The further we go in our sin, the harder it is to recover. 

The good news is that in the middle of judgment, God shows His mercy. He goes beyond saving us from our sin; and forgets we ever wronged Him, allowing us to come to Him, and pouring His Spirit into our renewed lives.  Not only does he stop the swarm, He restores what they took. 

When we turn from our sin and back to God, He can clean out all that was destroyed by the locusts in our lives.  In the verse below, He promises that He will restore what the locusts have taken away.  He will restore us after we turn back to Him.   We will be made whole and new, refreshed and better than before.  He redeems what was lost.

We are weak in sin, but strong in Christ.  God works everything together to for the good of those who love Him to restore what sin has cost us. It does not matter what the “locust” have done to destroy your life or the life of a prodigal you know; the Lord, through His mercy and grace, is ready to redeem.
Scripture to Claim:

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. Joel 2:5

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