Forgiveness And Restoration

Can God bring good out of our failures? A few years ago, an angry man rushed through the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until he reached Rembrandt’s famous painting “Nightwatch.” Then he took out a knife and slashed it repeatedly before he could be stopped. This cheri … More

Restoration

Remember what this book is about. The land of Israel is being overrun by hungry locusts. The crops are destroyed. There is nothing left. And it’s because of God’s punishment upon them for leaving their first love. These people have deserved to lose God’s blessing on the land because they took Him out of first place in their lives. The book of Revelation says that God is just in His judgements; that is, He is right in what He does. So, these people deserved what they had gotten. And when we disobey God or walk away or set up idols or ignore Him or get away from His leading, then He will use different tactics to call us back. This is because He loves us, not because He doesn’t.

Joel reached a turning point in his prophesy, moving from prophesying about an outpouring of God’s judgment to prophesying about an outpouring of God’s forgiveness and blessing (v. 18). He tells them how He will answer their prayers in three specific ways:

  1. He will grant them renewed prosperity (v. 19).
  2. He will remove their reproach from among the nation (v. 19).
  3. He will remove the locust army (v. 20).
The Lord works wonders and does great things (v. 21). The land which had been devastated will be completely restored and the fruit trees will prosper (v. 22).  Rain will fall to irrigate the parched soil (v. 23), and the land will once more be  productive (v. 24). The destruction  brought by the locusts will be more than matched by the years of plenty ahead (v. 25-26). Even more important than this He will achieve His purpose and cause His people to know that He is in the midst of them and that He is their God (v. 27).

Application

I am thankful that when I stray from God He doesn’t give me what I deserve but because of His love and mercy His desire is to bring me back to Himself and His blessing.

Joel 2:18-27 (English Standard Version)

Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. The LORD answered and said to his people, "Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations. "I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things. "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. "Be glad, O children of Zion, 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 latter rain, as before. "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, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. "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. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame."

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