Joel 2 … Consider Him Who Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten

“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,” (2:25 NKJV).

I will never forget the first time I read this verse. I was a new believer; saved at the age of 29, and hauling a truckload of baggage. On the one hand, I felt so loved and free; but all too often those feelings of guilt would somehow find their way in, threatening to crowd out my faith. I so regretted the years that the Locusts of sin and shame had eaten. I read from the New King James Version in those days, and when I read Joel 2:25, I sensed His Breath of Restoration as I came to His Word that day.

Locusts in the Bible often symbolize total desolation and destruction.

What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten;
And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten;
And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten,
(Joel 1:4).

There is so very much in today’s chapter; one of those days that needs perhaps a month to even begin to grasp just a miniscule of the Truth conveyed. But one thing is clear, God wanted no one to miss what He had sent His prophet Joel to proclaim: sound the alarm, His Day is Coming!

Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the Lord is coming;
Surely it is near,
(2:1).

And images continue in detail of what is Coming on that Day; darkness, desolation, and the inescapable all-consuming fire of the Lord’s great army.

The Lord utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word.
The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome,
And who can endure it?
(2:11).

And in a climactic culmination, the heavens and earth will display His alarming wonders on His great and awesome Day that is Coming.

“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
31 “The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes,(2:30-31).

But His warning was sent before that great and awesome day; and from out of the prophecy of this darkened inferno, rises the voice of His grace and compassion, His patience and lovingkindness, entreating His people to return to Him in wholehearted repentance, that He would also turn to them to bring His blessing.

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
14 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
(2:12-14).

Again, I am undone with such mercy as He invites everyone to gather together to weep before Him: the elders, the children and infants, the bridegroom and bride, the priests (2:15-17); all are beckoned to return to Him that they might receive His unmerited grace and compassion.

And if they will return in true humility and repentance, He promises to have pity and to answer, not only their cries for mercy, but to answer with His satisfying showers of Restoring Grace.

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land
And will have pity on His people.
19 The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with them;
And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations,
(2:18-19).

And then comes perhaps one of the most unbelievable promises anyone has ever heard.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”

He does not tell us to come in weeping so that we can grovel before Him in our self-attempts to make up for what we have done. The NASB translates it as follows:

“Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you,”
(2:25).

No, we are not required to make up for what we have done, for that is an utter impossibility. But in His great grace and compassion, to all who come to Him in repentance, to all who turn from sin in brokenness and turn to Him in faith and trust Him for His healing, He Himself will make up for those Years! Can you even breathe?

It’s too much; but it’s true. He has declared it to be so. As incomprehensible as it is to fathom, He will make up to us and Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

Consider Him Who Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten

Whatever Locusts have ravaged our lives, He will Restore every lost moment, every wasted opportunity, every Year the Locusts Have Eaten.

“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,” (Joel 2:25 NKJV).

  • He Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten as He satisfies us with His wondrous and plentiful goodness, never to feel shame again.
    • “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
      And praise the name of the Lord your God,
      Who has dealt wondrously with you;
      Then My people will never be put to shame,”
      (2:26).
  • He Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten as He causes us to know Him personally, and live in His Presence without shame forever.
    • “Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
      And that I am the Lord your God,
      And there is no other;
      And My people will never be put to shame,”
      (2:27).
  • He Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten as He pours out His Spirit on us.
    • “It will come about after this
      That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
      And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      Your old men will dream dreams,
      Your young men will see visions.
      29 “Even on the male and female servants
      I will pour out My Spirit in those days,”
      (2:28-29).
  • He Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten as He delivers all who call on His Name.
    • “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
      Will be delivered;
      For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
      There will be those who escape,
      As the Lord has said,
      Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls,
      (2:32).

How do we respond to Him Who Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten?

God’s warning to His people came with His promise of the coming joy they would know and His command to no longer to live in fear but be filled with gladness, for He has done the greatest of things in Restoring the Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the Lord has done great things.
22 Do not fear, beasts of the field,
For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has borne its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.
23 So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The early and latter rain as before.
24 The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil,
(2:21-24).

But guilt… it’s a real faith snuffer as it turns our focus and efforts to somehow making up for all those Years the Locusts Have Eaten. Oh, that we would daily remember His Absolute, Eternal Truth we learned from Paul’s letter to Philemon: there is no one who is bound by their past when made new through faith in Christ as it is only Him Who Transforms the Useless Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And not only does our faith in Christ release us from the penalty of our past sins and make us new in Him, but our faith in Christ is also given to release us from the guilt we bear for those Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

Oh, that we would walk in confidence and full assurance of His Restoring Power that cleanses us from the past and Restores us to hope in His faithful promises for our todays, tomorrows, and yes, even the yesterdays of Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful, (Hebrews 10:19-23).

Somehow, in His Supernatural Grace, He makes everything work for good for those who love Him; yes, even the Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28).

And not only does He work all things together for good, but even the Years the Locusts Have Eaten will become beautiful in His time and eternal purpose.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end, (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).

Lord, Your Supernatural Grace is too much to fathom, but we want to believe. Please grow our faith and help our unbelief to walk in the confident assurance that all things are possible for You Who Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten.

And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:23-24).

Lord, we come with humble hearts filled with gratitude, for You Restore our mourning with gladness, our heaviness with praise, and our shame with Your blessings and everlasting joy. Please Lord, help our unbelief that we may we live securely planted in what You have done in Restoring the Years the Locusts Have Eaten, that You may be glorified in us.

To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified…

7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion,
And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion.
Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,
Everlasting joy will be theirs,
(Isaiah 61:3, 7).

Let’s Grow Together!

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