“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” – Joel 2:25-26
The Lord promises restoration to all who genuinely and humbly call upon His name. Often times in this life we stop, look up, and realize in a moment that we have lost years to the enemy. Most times this is of our own doing. Through complacency, misplaced trust, or shear disobedience we wonder far from the path that God, in His righteous love, had planned for us. Often we don’t realize how far away we have gotten and how much we have truly lost until one day God shakes us from our daze or cast us from our place of rebellion with trial, trauma, and hardship. In this place of desperation and dependency we regain our humility toward, our dependency on, and our reverence for the living God of all, fearful and just as He is.
Such is the case being described here in Joel 2, if you take a moment to read the entire chapter you begin to see that, though it’s an end time prophecy, it’s an all time scenario. Many times through out scripture you see this play out. God’s people stray, they follow the desires and imaginations of their own hearts, “thinking themselves wise they become fools” and wonder far from God (Romans 1:22). Eventually God gets enough of this and unleashes the purifying fire of His anger upon them for their disobedience. However what few in this state realize (though many later come to understand) is that, (just like a parent spanking a child for endangering their life by ignoring their commands for them to stop running toward a busy street) when we endanger our eternal soul, His love, concern, and mercy are poured out on us in anger for the sake of correction.
Throughout Scripture we find that once God’s people found themselves in this place of trial and hardship, they usually repented of their ways and cried out to God for help. God being the gracious good father that He is would then restore and bless them. However, though God’s love will indeed drive Him to anger for the sake of provoking repentance, eventually His justice will drive Him to judgment if you do not hold true to that repentance. I would that I serve God faithfully all the days of my life but if I were to stray I would rather face God’s Anger for a season then His Judgment for eternity. So for that I thank Him, as a grown and mature person can look back and thank their parents for the correction they got as a child, now seeing it for what it really was and appreciating what they once despised.
I thank You God for you righteous anger and for every time that it has corrected my path. Forgive me Lord for my selfish rebellions and help me to always know and walk in Your perfect will. Change my heart O God, that my will would be to honor Yours in total trust and obedience, whatever that may entail. Father You have promised to restore so I humbly ask that You Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” – Psalms 51:10-12