In the book of Joel, not written by Billy by the way, God is using the prophet Joel to describe the judgment of God that has fallen on His people. Locust plagues were common in that day. The locusts would descend upon an area and literally strip the crops bare. God is using this occurrence, which people were fortunately, all too familiar, to illustrate His judgment. In Joel 1:2-4 we read this: Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation. 4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
God’s judgment had fallen on His people and they were decimated. But the story never ends there with God. God is a God of judgment but He is also a God of restoration. God calls His people to repentance and when His people repent, this is what He does: “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among 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 be put to shame.
What is the lesson? Sin is costly. When we go away from the Lord we will lose a lot, just like the farmer lost to the locusts. However, God is a God of mercy as well. When we repent, we get restoration. We can be satisfied with what God has restored.