Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

Joel 2:18-27
 Then the Lord became jealous for his land
    and had pity on his people.
19 The Lord answered and said to his people,
“Behold, I am sending to you
    grain, wine, and oil,
    and you will be satisfied;
and I will no more make you
    a reproach among the nations.
20 “I will remove the northerner far from you,
    and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
his vanguard[b] into the eastern sea,
    and his rear guard[c] into the western sea;
the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
    for he has done great things.
21 “Fear not, O land;
    be glad and rejoice,
    for the Lord has done great things!
22 Fear not, you beasts of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;the tree bears its fruit;
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23 “Be glad, O children of Zion,
    and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before.
24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore[d] to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.
26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

The book of Joel contains the prophetic message of judgment for the people of Israel and Judah. The reality was that this season was a rough time for the life of God’s people. Due to their habitual disobedience, the Lord sent judgment on the land by way of locusts, which destroyed their crops and left their land barren. In the midst of the judgment though, the Lord provided mercy. He invited both the northern and southern kingdoms to repent and return to the Lord because of His graciousness and His compassion. As a matter of fact, in verses 18-27 we see the Lord’s mercy and compassion in action. Instead of injecting more judgment, He chose to show grace and compassion and restore the land! Wow!

Did you know that the Lord God is the great restorer? There are many who believe that the God of the Universe is just a grumpy ol’ dictator in the sky looking to send punishment and condemnation on the earth. No, that is not true. Here is the reality, God is a God of Justice, but He is also a God of mercy and grace. Listen, the prophet Joel prayed on behalf of the people in vs. 17 and the Lord relented from pouring out more judgment. Even more than that, He restored the people and their land!

The truth of the matter is that walking in sin has consequences. It leaves us broken, it hurts us as well as others, and as David says in Psalm 40 that it leaves us in a pit. Here is the good news though, we do not have to stay in that pit. You can repent of your sins and return to the Lord and He will bring restoration. What happens a lot of times as children of God, when we fall and experience the consequences for our actions, the enemy does a good job of guilt tripping us into staying in that pit. He speaks to us that God doesn’t love us anymore. He shares with us that because of our sin we cannot live for God anymore. The reality is that’s just simply not true by any means. Friend, God wants to pull you out of that pit and restore you to live for Him.

Maybe you are where you are this morning beating yourself up because of your past.  Listen, God wants to restore those years that you wasted in that lifestyle. Maybe you made mistakes in your past with how you dealt with your family and friends; listen God wants to restore those years you wasted doing your own thing. My encouragement this morning is for you not to live in the past and the brokenness there within, but rather choose to return to the Lord and allow for Him to restore those days, months, years that were lost. He is able to do it and wants to do it for He is the Great Restorer!

Dear Heavenly Father Lord, thank you for being a God co compassion, slow to anger, rich in love and good to all. I pray today that you restore the years I have foolishly wasted choosing not to live for you. Get me out of the pit I find myself in because of my sin and restore me to live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Joel 2:25
I will restore to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
   my great army, which I sent among you.