I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you.
After ordering at the drive-thru menu board, my husband and I pulled up to pay at the first window. I noticed the woman was a little too friendly as she took our cash. “Is this woman actually flirting with my husband?” I wondered. The longer we sat there waiting for the next car to move forward, the more she unabashedly continued to flirt. I was jealous – and rightly so. He is MY husband.
Did you know that God is also jealous of us? We are His people, and He wants our wholehearted devotion. It’s not because He is egotistical and selfish, but because He only wants good for us. He knows the pain and destruction that come when we go our own way.
In the book of Joel, we read about God’s promise of impending judgment on His people’s unfaithfulness and idolatry. He was going to send swarms of locusts to completely decimate the land. There would be no oil, no grain, no wine. But even in God’s judgment, He promises His mercy when they repent and return to Him with all their hearts with fasting and weeping and mourning. Repentance always precedes restoration. Through their repentance, God promised to repay them for the years the locusts have eaten. They would again have grain, new wine, and olive oil – enough to satisfy them fully.
Although Jesus suffered the full extent of God’s wrath and took the judgment for our sin upon Himself, He still disciplines us because He loves us, but it’s never punitive. Instead, it is to teach, train and correct us. He is a jealous God. He will use everything to bring us back to Himself when we’ve wandered, when we’ve flirted with the world and have been unfaithful to Him. We can, however, be assured that His discipline is not without a promise of restoration.
Prayer: Dear God, As a dearly loved child of Yours, I am no longer the recipient of Your wrath. Still, I know the Word says that You discipline those You love. Make me willing to receive Your discipline. Prick my heart when I have removed You from Your rightful place in my life. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.