I will restore to you the years
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
Joel was written in the wake of a horrendous plague of locusts which had afflicted Israel. The prophet makes it clear that such famine was part of God’s judgement against Israel, but he also makes it clear that this judgment is not the end of Israel’s relationship with God. Rather, it is a sign of His ongoing fidelity to the covenant (for it is a covenant judgement) and it is followed, not by the back-breaking blows dealt to Egypt after her plague of locusts in the days of Moses, but by the promise of restoration. All of us have either lived or known those who live in “the years which the swarming locust have eaten,” years of struggle where promise should have been, years of grief instead of joy, years of frustration instead of fulfillment. Our God promises us that He desires to restore and redeem every one of them. Today, turn again to the God who restores and seek His face. He is still redeeming and restoring what the locust have eaten.