ESV - 4 What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.
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I have seen what a swarm of locust can do to a field. When they finally leave, there is nothing left but dirt. God's punishment on Israel for her disobedience to His Divine Ordinances was justified. God warned Israel through her prophets, through the written Torah, and through her priest not to worship or follow idolatrous ways. When Israel went after idolatry she was punished. Taking her food source was the first step of punishment. The last step being total destruction and slavery by her enemies. In reality, if Israel repented following a swarm of locust she was blessed. She was accepted back by God, and she avoided His continued wrath. Today, we in the USA are like the nation of Israel. God had smiled on us, but like the nation of Israel, we choose to follow the idolatrous ways. We have chosen to accept things we know are abominations in God's Eyes. We have allowed ungodly people to convinced us that God's Holy Word should be taken from the hands that teach our children and we have raised generations of children that have no reverence for God or the Laws He Created for us. We sit and watch in horror as our shores are pounded with wind and rain, only to shake our tiny fist and declare we will rebuild. Never considering it was God that allowed it for us to repent of our ways and turn to HIM. The Bible predicts of greater more evil locust to come. Rev. 9:3-10 these evil locust will no longer hurt the earth or crops, but will seek to harm all man. Man that will not bow to a Living Loving God now, will fall under the Wrath of God in that Day of Judgment in the Great Tribulation. We have a choice! As individuals we can choose to serve God now and be saved from the Wrath to come by the LORD Jesus Christ or we can serve ourselves, our own lust and face with the whole world what is soon to come. Thank God for a choice, thank God for Jesus! Be Blessed Lena
God didn't use a locust swarm to punish Israel; he used the locusts and the prophet Joel to instruct Israel on how to view their lives and their relationship with him. The same life principle taught in Joel 1 applies to the life of the believer today, as well as the church at large. And here it is: sin will eat you alive! The swarming locust, the hopping locust, the cutting locust, the destroying locust; these are a picture of how varying tragedies that attack our lives are all of the same brand. They are different forms of the same enemy: Sin! Sin is our enemy, and it destroys everything it touches in our lives. What one sin doesn't destroy, another does. This is the message here. The message isn't that God punishes sin. He does, but that isn't the promise. We need a solution, not a diagnosis. We know what is the problem! "Awake you drunkards, and weep and wail all you drinkers of wine.." (Joel 1:5) What's he saying? That's the diagnosis! Joel is telling us the condition of our soul; we are impaired; He describes how everything in our life dries up. "The vine, the fig tree, and gladness" all dry up. We're told to "put on sackcloth and lament, to wail." (humble yourself) This was/is a message from God to instruct us on what to do about the thing that destroys our life, what to do about our worst enemy, what to do about sin. He didn't tell the people to call an exterminator, he told them to: "Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord." (vs 14) In the western world, we don't walk the floor at night worried about our crops. Today there are supply chain concerns due to Covid and other societal problems, but we're not yet too fearful that we might run short on food. We expect to be able to keep a storeroom to capacity by going to the Kroger up the street. So what is an example of our "locusts" in the United States? What is an example of how our peace is attacked, and our gladness (soul) dries up? One example is gun violence. It has various forms: School shootings, road rage, armed muggings, and random senseless violence against churches, synagogues, movie goers and nightclub patrons. (As I'm writing this, I'm hearing of a 15 year old who went on a shooting rampage in Raleigh, North Carolina on yesterday evening. He killed 5 people, and had an hour long standoff with police before being taken into custody). Gun violence is just one example of our "locusts." It is not the disease, it is the symptom. The disease is Sin. The cure is Christ Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). "To you, O Lord, I call. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has burned all the trees of the field. Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness" (Joel 1:20). He says twice that fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness. That's astonishing! A wilderness is a wasteland, a desolate place. But their "wilderness" had pastures; pastures are areas covered with grass used for the grazing of livestock. He's describing comfort and a bountiful supply in a place where there should be lack. God was supplying it, but now it was under attack. There are at least two views of the scriptures: God is telling us he's going to punish us for our sins. That's one view; the other is that God is telling us what to do about the "swarming locust," our sin. The locusts won't go away on their own accord. Even when they do leave, the damage to our life is already done. They move on to another land because there's nothing left to destroy. "Even the beast of the field pant for you." (vs20) Even unbelievers will cry out to the Lord when tragedy strikes close to home. God isn't the source of the tragedies, Sin is.
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