In these days when we fear a coming global economic apocalypse, it’s important to be familiar with the message of Joel, a prophet who dealt with economic calamity and its aftermath.
In Joel’s day, the monetary devastation was caused by locusts, which could destroy a nation’s economy overnight.
When swarms of locusts descended on an area, they darkened the sky, sounded like a fleet of helicopters, and consumed every plant in their path.
They appeared overnight and were gone the next day, obliterating a year’s income and leaving devastation behind.
According to Deuteronomy 28:38, locusts were a mark of God’s judgment on sin. So it became Joel’s mission to tell people they were experiencing God’s judgment.
He also said the locusts foreshadowed something yet to come –the Day of the Lord, the culmination of history in which God’s final judgment will occur. The plague of locusts was a signpost for the future.
But there’s another theme in Joel – restoration.
Joel 2:25 says: “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
The easiest way to read Joel is in two parts:
- Chapters 1:1-2:17 describe the locust invasion and the Day of the Lord.
- The rest of the book describes the mercy of God in restoring Israel and judging her enemies.
If you feel your life has been devastated, read the book of Joel and consider how God can restore the elements of your life. He not only restores; He makes all things new.
The locust plague of Joel’s day was a divine judgment, foreshadowing the Day of the Lord which will bring destruction to the ungodly but blessings to God’s people.
“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (Joel 2:13).
Turn back to God from any and every sin, for He abundantly pardons and wonderfully restores.