The Prophet Out of Place

Posted: August 20, 2015 in Joel, Route 66

Route 66: Joel, “The Prophet Out of Place”

Trick question: If a prophet gives a warning in the Old Testament, does it apply to the people of the Old Testament?  It’s a trick question because usually the answer is both yes & no.  The OT is filled with all kinds of prophecies that have dual-application/fulfillment.  They apply both to the then-present time and also towards the future.  Sometimes the future fulfillment looked towards an event that is now past for us (such as Jesus’ 1st coming), while other times the events are still future (such as the Great Tribulation or Jesus’ 2nd coming).

In the case of the prophet Joel, all of this seems to have an exception.  Yes, Joel did write to his current people, using current events as illustrations, but his primary focus seemed to be the future…the far future.  Joel is the prophet quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost as the Church was being birthed.  Echoes of Joel seem to reverberate in the prophecies of John as he saw the events of the Tribulation.  Joel wrote in the days of ancient Israel, but he seemed to write more of the days of future Israel – primarily of the time they will endure great trial and finally come to faith in Christ.  To that end, we might call Joel “the prophet out of place.”

DATE:
Speculation abounds as to the dating of Joel.  Unlike other OT prophets who identify the kings under which they wrote (thereby providing a reference for time), Joel identifies nothing of himself other than his father (Pethuel).  Thus we cannot say definitively as to when he wrote.  Theories run the gamut, with some scholars believing Joel is among the very earliest of recorded prophets (perhaps even quoted by Amos), whereas others firmly believe he wrote after the years of exile.  Both camps have interesting arguments in their favor, and at the end of the day, we simply do not know.

It’s the lack of date that makes Joel so intriguing.  What he says is not tied to a specific generation, so there is freedom in applying it to other generations.  Even so, there is always a specific audience in mind with every written Scripture, and the audience that seems to suit this best is one that has not yet come to the foreground.  Perhaps God’s reason for leaving Joel undated was for the specific reason of making it perfect for a future generation of Jews – one that will know the proper application when the time is right.

THEME:
The subject of the Joel is the Day of the Lord, which automatically implies the judgment of God, and that is indeed seen.  Israel is first judged by God, seen by way of a terrible physical tragedy that inflicted the land.  However, that tragedy only prefigured a far worse trial yet to come: the Day of the Lord.  But even that would not spell the end of God’s people.  On the contrary, God had a wonderful plan for their repentance & restoration.  God’s Spirit would be poured out upon His people, and then it would be time for the rest of the nations to experience the Day of the Lord.  The Gentiles would be judged, and the Jews would know the comfort of God.  If that doesn’t speak plainly enough of a future generation, it’d be tough to get more specific!

SIGNIFICANCE
If Joel is so important to the nation of Israel, is it of any importance to the NT Christian?  Absolutely!  Again, this provided one of the foundational Scriptures of the NT Church at Pentecost, to explain God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  But there is value beyond that.

  • As with many of the OT prophets, the fact that God keeps His word to Israel gives us great hope as to God keeping His word with the Church.  After all, what hope would we have for the rapture or resurrection, if God so freely violated His word to the Jews?  If God didn’t mean what He said to them, what hope would we have for what Jesus said to us?  But God does keep His word, so every promise He makes to Israel is of importance to the Christian.
  • Joel’s message of judgment is saturated with a message of grace.  Part of what is included in the Day of the Lord is a time in which God the Spirit is poured out upon His people, salvation is granted to any who call upon the name of the Lord, and God vindicates His people over their enemies.  The judgment of God almost always goes hand-in-hand with His grace, and it is wonderful!
  • It is good to be reminded of God’s future judgment.  After all, we live in terrible times.  Babies are taken from their mothers’ wombs & torn apart in the name of “research.”  Islamic terrorists bend over backwards attempting to invent horrific methods of execution in their pursuit of world domination.  Persecution of Christians is on the rise, even within countries previously believed to be immune from it.  With all that in mind, praise God for His judgment!  Praise God that He sees the plight of His people & has an answer for evil.  God neither ignores sin among His nation, nor among the various nations of the earth – and that’s a good thing!

GENERAL OUTLINE
As to the book itself, the size is tiny (only 3 chapters), though the message is huge.  Some scholars see two primary divisions (destruction & restoration), whereas others see three.  Considering the book was long ago divided into three chapters, we’ll follow a similar structure for our outline.

  • Present Destruction (the ravaging locusts)
  • Future Destruction & Restoration (the promise)
  • Future Judgment (upon the Gentile nations)

Again, all of Joel speaks of the Day of the Lord.  It is both terrible and wonderful at the same time!

Present Destruction
The land destroyed (1:1-12)
The book begins with the briefest of introductions, saying nothing about Joel other than his parentage.  His name means “Yahweh is God,” and it’s a fitting testimony to what he is about to preach.

Joel wastes no time calling the people to attention, specifically calling out the “elders” as well as the rest of the “inhabitants in the land” (1:2).  For those who believe Joel wrote after the years of exile, this is proof that the Jewish monarchy is gone, and there is no longer a son of David on the throne of Jerusalem.  There is no king mentioned, and the only leadership is that of elders.  For those who believe Joel wrote far earlier, they see this as evidence that the prophet wrote during the time that Queen Athaliah usurped the Jerusalem throne & the young Joash was placed into hiding (2 Kings 11).  If that was the case, then Jehu was reigning in Israel (having killed Ahab), and the northern kingdom was at one of its strongest points in history.  They had not yet fallen to the Assyrians, and obviously the Babylonians were far off in the future.  Other than the political troubles and assassinations, the people would not have had too many worries of outside enemies.  The northern kingdom freely worshipped false gods, and the southern kingdom had tendencies of doing the same.  God has a way of snapping people to attention, and that seems to have been one of the goals of Joel!

Even if this was a later prophecy, the people still needed to avoid complacency.  It was one thing to come back from Babylon; it was another thing to worship the Lord God in spirit and truth.  Just because they survived one set of trials doesn’t mean that they needed to go back to business-as-usual.

  • Likewise, we also need to be alert!  The days in which we live are not days to be lazy.  This isn’t the time to sit back & only remember how God worked in the past & think only of the “glory days.”  This is a time for us to be active in the Great Commission!  This is a time for us to be about the work of God.  Time is short – and that ought to be evident just by looking around.

In fact, that’s just what Joel points out.  He basically says: “Look around!  Listen up!  Has there been anything like what you’ve been witnessing now?”  The land had endured such devastation, they’d be telling their children about it for generations.  What happened?  Locusts.   Lots & lots of locusts.  Joel 1:4, "(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." A massive swarm had descended & devoured everything in its path.  This is not terribly unusual in itself, as it happens quite frequently.  The fact that Joel describes this particular swarm as something that would be remembered for generations is telling…it must have been especially bad.

Some have wondered if Joel refers to a literal locust swarm, or if he uses figurative language to describe an army (or several armies) of some sort.  Some have even suggested that the various swarms refer to various empires: first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Persians – every successive empire sweeping up more in its path.  Whether or not the locusts were literal, the destruction certainly was.  Nothing had been left behind.

  • BTW, there is no reason that the locusts could NOT have been literal.  In fact, the Bible is clear that God will one day use locust-like creatures AS an army to pour out part of His judgment upon the earth.  This is seen during the 5th Trumpet judgment of Revelation 9.  Revelation 9:3–6, "(3) Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (4) They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. (5) And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. (6) In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them."  The two major differences there are: (1) these locusts are demonic in nature, and (2) they don’t harm the land, but people.  Even so, the locusts of Joel seem to be a terrible preview of what is yet to come during the days of the Great Tribulation.
  • Even here, the lesson is the same: don’t wait until it’s too late to repent!  Joel warned the people of his day to look around & heed the warning of God while they had the chance.  Likewise with the various judgments in Revelation.  Each one is another opportunity given by God for people to repent.  We need to take the opportunity we’ve been given!

Joel goes on to describe the utter destruction that has taken place.  The vineyards had been destroyed (1:5), the fig trees had been ruined (1:7), the grain & drink offerings cut off (1:9).  Everything was gone: Joel 1:10–12, "(10) The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails. (11) Be ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished. (12) The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, The palm tree also, And the apple tree— All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men."  This was not a good time for Israel!  When God first brought them into the land, He did so while describing the land in terms of blessing.  The people would receive houses they didn’t build & vineyards they didn’t plant.  This was a land flowing with milk & honey.  This was a land of physical prosperity.  And now it’s all gone.  Everything was ruined.

So is this just a lament over a ruined economy?  Is Joel just bummed about a financial recession?  No.  God promised material blessing to Israel as part of His covenant with them.  If the people obeyed God, they would experience immense prosperity with increased good & livestock, and able to lend to the surrounding nations, never at a lack for anything (Dt 28:11-12).  The fact that Israel was now suffering economically was a bad sign.  It meant that God was no longer pouring out His blessing upon them.  They had entered into the part of the covenant that did not bring blessings, but curses.  They had been disobedient & now were reaping the results of their disobedience.  Would they pay attention?

  • Will we?  God has given our nation immense mercy in light of all our sins against Him.  We are not Israel, so we are not governed by the covenant God made with Israel.  Even so, our nation blatantly sins against Him at our own risk.  We provoke Him to wrath, and hardly pay attention to the warnings He gives us.  The time to pay attention is now!
  • Beyond our nation, let’s be sure to bring it back to individuals.  How many times must God warn us about something before we decide to pay attention and turn away from our sin?  We tease God with certain behaviors, thinking that He’ll never let us face the full consequences of our actions.  Not so!  He might allow us to face a small bit now, in order to help avoid incurring the full amount later.  But we’ve got to pay attention.

The land mourned (1:13-18)
So that was the partial judgment that had already come (though surely nothing about it felt “partial” at the time).  Now it was time to weep.  Joel calls the priests, elders, and inhabitants of the land to wail, lament, and cry out to God. (1:13)  Be it through grain offerings or fasts, the people were to turn back to God in earnest, and seek His face in true sorrow and repentance.  This was a time that Joel could legitimately call “the day of the Lord,” (1:15) knowing that God had given them a taste of His judgment.  If they didn’t cry out to God now, they certainly would not be able to withstand what was yet to come.

Question: why does Joel call the people to weep & lament?  Does God want people to be sorry?  Yes!  When it comes to sin, yes – people are supposed to grieve over it, and be sorry.  It’s not that God lays a guilt trip upon us & that we’re supposed to be consumed with ourselves & force ourselves to shed “enough” tears to do penance.  That’s not what Joel (nor the rest of the Bible) teaches at all.  Our sorrow is to be sincere, but it is to be present.  If our hearts do not grieve over our sin, we probably don’t understand what our sin was to begin with. [Forced apologies don’t count]  It is when we recognize our sin for what it is, that it breaks our heart.  And it should.  It’s only when that happens that we can truly turn from it.  2 Corinthians 7:9–10, "(9) Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. (10) For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." THAT kind of sorrow is a good thing, and that’s exactly what Joel called the people to have.

Joel’s prayer (1:19-20)
The writing turns to 1st person.  Whereas before, it was the word of God coming through Joel, now it seems to be Joel personally crying out to God himself.  He just called upon the priests, elders, and inhabitants to do it, and he does not exempt himself from the list.  His prayer is simple & to the point: Joel 1:19–20, "(19) O Lord, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field. (20) The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures."  Translation: “Things are bad, and so I turn to You.”  There’s nothing drawn-out or overly pious-sounding in any of that.  It’s just sincere & God-focused.  Joel doesn’t even ask for anything specific.  He just knows that he needs the Lord, and so he calls upon His God.

  • Sometimes we make prayer so much more complicated that what it needs to be.  God does not need us to describe our situations to Him – He knows what we need before we even ask. (Mt 6:8)  But He wants us to ask.  When we ask, we are declaring our dependency upon Him, and that is exactly the way it should be.  We might not even know what things to ask for, but at least we are calling upon God as we do it.  (And thankfully, the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers to God & prays for us! Rom 8:26)

We need to emphasize that Joel prayed this.  Was he one that needed to repent?  Not likely.  But he lived among a people who needed to repent.  Someone needed to intercede for them.  If not Joel, then who? (Likewise with us & our nation…)

Future Destruction & Restoration
The Lord’s army (2:1-11)
Joel once again calls out to the people, this time not as a charge to repent, but in warning of what it yet to come.  A battle was coming, and it was such a dreadful prospect, that it ought to cause everyone in the land to “tremble.” (2:1)  What was it?  “The day of the LORD.” (2:1)  This term was already given to the army of locusts that had earlier ravaged the land (1:15), so how could it apply here as well?  Is there more than one Day of the Lord?  Yes & no.  Technically any time the judgment or wrath of God is poured out, it can be termed the Day of the Lord.  At the same time, there is a specific Day coming, which will be equaled by none other before it.  That Day is the day of Jesus’ 2nd Coming, which in a sense is spread out over the entire time of the Great Tribulation.  During the 6th seal’s opening, when men & women are hiding in the caves & mountains, they acknowledge that day of the God’s wrath had come (Rev 6:17), and that was only the beginning!  It will continue for 7 years, finally culminating in Jesus’ return.

In regards to Joel, the question then becomes: which day was this Day?  Was this just one of another “Day of the Lord,” perhaps when God’s wrath fell on Judah with the Babylonians – or is this a reference to the final Day of the Lord, when God’s wrath falls upon the whole earth & the Jews especially experience their time of trial?  There is perhaps a dual-fulfillment in mind here, but the overall context seems to point to the Great Tribulation.  The army that is mentioned here is unique in history (“whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them…” 2:2).  This is an army from whom there is no escape, as all are consumed by their fire (2:3).  This is an army that seems to defy description, having the appearance of horses & noise of chariots, able to leap over mountains (2:4-5).  This doesn’t sound like an army of ancient days, but seems more descriptive of modern warfare.  Perhaps Joel describes the armies of Antichrist, maybe even in another veiled reference to the demonic locusts.

In any case, it is bad…and it is of the Lord.  Joel 2:10–11, "(10) The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. (11) The Lord gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?"  The days described sound like the days of the Great Tribulation, yet Who is it that drives this army?  God!  The Lord God of Israel is the One controlling this terrible army & the One controlling the terrible situation.  Guess what?  That’s still the picture we see in the Book of Revelation.  On the one hand, there are hordes that are loyal to Antichrist, and it seems that the Devil is victorious.  On the other hand, it is all governed by the Sovereign God.  God brings them out for His holy purpose, and then casts His holy judgment upon the armies themselves.  Antichrist may rebel against God, but he cannot stop himself from being used by God.  God is sovereign over all!

Call to repentance (2:12-17)
Once more, Joel calls people to repent.  Whereas earlier, he told people to weep & lament, now he (via the Lord) tells them the full purpose of their weeping: Godly repentance & hope for mercy.  Joel 2:12–13, "(12) “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” (13) So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm."  Amen!  This is what God desired from His people!  This was the whole reason for the armies and desolation.  God never destroys for the fun of it.  Even when someone truly deserves it, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Eze 33:11).  It’s far better when someone repents & truly comes to faith in Christ!

In essence, that is exactly what God says to the Jews here through Joel.  Christ is not mentioned by name, but He is never far from the picture when God calls people to turn to Him in faith.  After all, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except through Him (Jn 14:6).  That’s true regardless which part of the Bible you read (Old or New Testament).  Here, God calls people to true faith – sincere faith.  This isn’t about rituals or going through motions of repentance.  This isn’t about outward actions appearing to mourn (such as ripping one’s outer clothing).  This about a heartfelt change when people truly turn to God in faith and worship.  When they did, they would learn of God’s true character (being “gracious & merciful”) and they would experience the kindness of God firsthand.

That was God’s desire for Israel, and that is God’s desire for all the world!  In reference to all of this judgment on the Day of the Lord, it most certainly will come, but God’s heartfelt desire is that people would be spared from all of it.  2 Peter 3:9, "(9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."  His promise of judgment will come, but His promise of mercy is here right now for the asking!  (So ask!  Humble yourself & repent!)

So what would happen if the people did it?  What would happen if they actually rent their hearts before the Lord in true humility & worship, turning to God in heartfelt sorrow & repentance?  See vs. 18…

Restoration of the land (2:18-27)
Joel 2:18–19, "(18) Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. (19) The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations."  God would answer their prayer!  He would take up the cause of His people, bless them once more materially & protect them once more militarily (2:20).  The armies would be drawn away from Israel, back to the north (perhaps a reference to Ezekiel 38?) – however it happens, the army itself would be judged by the Lord for their “monstrous things” (2:20).

In contrast with the evil army, God will do marvelous things! (2:21)  No longer did the people need to fear & wail – God would restore their covenant blessings that He promised in Deuteronomy.  Their land would once again yield fruit, the rains would come, and their vats would overflow with oil. (2:23-24)  In the process, God gives them a glorious promise, relating back to their first experience with judgment: Joel 2:25–27, "(25) “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. (27) Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame."

Restoration!  And more than just restoration of the land is the restoration of their relationship with God.  Everything that had been lost would be turned around again, and the people would live in blessing with the God who had taken them to Himself.  They would know the Lord, and the Lord would know them.

  • Even when it comes to our own discipline by God, this is always the goal.  God desires our restoration!  As the writer of Hebrews notes, no punishment feels good at the time, though it might be necessary (Heb 12:11).  But the end result of discipline is something so much better: restoration!  The whole ministry of the gospel is reconciliation.  In our sin, we are estranged from God, but through the work of Jesus at the cross, we are now reconciled – restored.  What was lost in the Garden of Eden is now found & made right again.  We can trust God for the restoration!

Restoration of the people (2:28-32)
Beyond the restoration of the land is the restoration of the people themselves.  This most definitely seems to be a prophecy with dual fulfillment in mind.  The original context is Israel, but the first application was to the Church.  This is what was quoted by Peter in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, as he specifically said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles was “what was spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:16)  At the same time, there can be no doubt that not everything in this prophecy was fulfilled as Peter uttered the words that day.  After all, Joel prophesied of more than just tongues & prophecy, but about the Day of the Lord.  Joel 2:28–32, "(28) “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. (29) And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (30) “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (32) And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls."

The Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, yes – but the sun was not turned to darkness, not the moon to blood.  That prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.  And it will be.  When: potentially on the day that the Jewish people as a whole have the spiritual blinders removed from their eyes & they come to faith in Christ.  The Jews of the Great Tribulation will finally call upon the Lord to be saved, and they will once more experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, even as the ministry of the Holy Spirit changes with the Church being in heaven with Jesus.  Just as the Spirit was poured out upon certain individuals in the days of Moses & David, so will He be poured out upon the nation, as they witness to the rest of the world of the coming Day of the Lord.

In fact, it is to those nations that the attention of Joel turns.

Future Judgment
God’s judgment upon the nations (3:1-17)
Those who believe the Book of Joel to have been written after the captivity cite 3:1 as potential proof that the people of God had indeed been taken captive & had to be returned to the land.  At the same time, this could also be said about Israel many times during their history.  Joel could have easily have written of the Babylonian captivity years in advance – or possibly be looking forward to the present time in which Jews are returning to Israel en masse

In any case, the people are now back in the land, reformed as a nation by a miracle of God, and the nations who had earlier come against them were now rounded up to be judged.  The Gentiles had scattered God’s people around the world, divided up the land of Israel among themselves, and had treated the Jews like property (3:2-3).  (Sound familiar?  Unless American foreign policy towards Israel changes, the United States could find itself doing things for which God specifically condemned other nations.)

God knew the sins of these people, specifically listed here as Tyre, Sidon & Philistia (3:4), and He promised to retaliate against them.  They had taken what was precious to God, so God would take what was precious to them.  They had not only plundered God’s temple, but His nation.  That was something for which God would take vengeance.

This time, it wasn’t the Jews who were to prepare for war, but the Gentile nations themselves (3:9).  They would beat their plowshares into swords in a vain attempt to fight against God.  If it sounds ridiculous to fight against the Lord of the Universe, it is…but that is exactly what will happen at the Battle of Armageddon.  The nations of the world, united by Antichrist, will believe that it can defeat Jesus Christ – they will be severely mistaken.  Joel writes of it here: Joel 3:15–17, "(15) The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. (16) The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. (17) “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”"

At that time, ALL people everywhere will know that Jesus is Lord!  When Jesus comes in power & victory, there will be no more excuses, no more mistakes.  God will rise in defense of His people, and we as the Church will be right with the Lord Jesus to witness the whole thing!

God’s blessing upon His people (3:18-21)
Joel finishes up with a description of what life will be like for the restored nation of Israel to physically dwell with the Lord in her midst (i.e. Jesus reigning from Jerusalem).  It once more will be a land flowing with milk, and water will be abundant (3:18).  They will abide forever with the Lord, having been forever forgiven by the Lord. (3:21)  Why? “For the LORD dwells in Zion.”  When Jesus is there, everything is set right!

Conclusion:
Joel wrote of a terrible day in the future: one during which Israel would fear, tremble, and see everything consumed.  But Joel also wrote of a better day: one of restoration and protection as the Lord granted them grace, mercy, and His presence.  Part of this would come true during the captivity & return from Babylon, but Joel seemed to look past that event to something far bigger: the Great Tribulation.  Just as Jesus taught, it would be a time of terrible trial for Israel, and unless the days were shortened, all life would be lost (Mt 24:22).  But God does preserve His people, and He has a promise for His people.  They would see His glory & experience His grace.  They had a promise of restoration, and that promise was good!

We have a promise of restoration in the gospel & praise God for it!  We have been reconciled back to God, and though we may have lost much in our sin, there is no longer any separation between us and our Heavenly Father!

For others, you may have experienced loss of a different kind.  Perhaps due to sin of your own, you’ve also experienced locusts of sorts.  The discipline of God has come & much has been taken.  There is good news here: our God is a God who restores!  Will everything be just as it was before?  Maybe – maybe not.  But even if it’s different, it may be better, more full of grace than you can possibly imagine.  Trust God for His restoration!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s