The Locust Lesson

I have begun reading the twelve books of the Old Testament referred to as the “minor prophets”. They are not “minor” because they were written by less significant prophets or that their material is less important but rather they are referred to as minor because most of them are short in length. These shorter books do tend to be prophetic in nature rather than telling a narrative story. The second of these prophets is the prophet Joel.  In Joel we see cycles of destruction and restoration. In chapter 1 God uses the picture of a locust plague to describe the devastation of the land because of the people’s rebellion. In chapter 1 we read this: 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. The picture is one of total devastation and destruction. The nation of Israel would experience this. Sometimes people experience this as well. It seems that everything important to us has been taken away and this most often happens in times of disobedience to God (not always but most often). But God doesn’t desire to leave anyone in this condition. In chapter 2, when the people have turned back to God we read this: “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust.  

If you are a child of God through Jesus Christ, God will chasten you; He will discipline you but it is never for your destruction but always for your instruction. The locust may seem to take everything away but God desires to restore what you have lost. We can learn a lot about God’s mercy from the lesson of the locust.

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