Have locusts eaten your life? I’m not a farmer and I’ve never seen a locust myself, but these highly destructive grasshopper-like insects can supposedly level a field filled with crops to the ground in a matter of minutes, as the swarm passes by devouring everything in its sight. And while most of us will not have experienced a literal blight of locusts, there are some who can relate to the figurative desolation of a life foolishly wasted in rebellion to God.
“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.” (Joel 2:25 KJV)
It is God Himself who sends the locusts–did you catch that? This is not a random occurrence of nature; it is a plague God sends to cause His people to turn their hearts back toward Him! Because He loves them; because He cares that they are rebelling against Him–that they have been lured away by every conceivable foolishness and way contrary to Him–He sends something painful, something humiliating, something overwhelming, something degrading, something to cause us to see how much we need Him! God doesn’t just turn His back and go away; He doesn’t allow His people to stay lost–He disciplines us.
“You have forgotten the encouraging words that call you His children: ‘My child, don’t think the Lord’s discipline is worth nothing, and don’t stop trying when he corrects you. The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as His child.’ So hold on through your sufferings, because they are like a father’s discipline. God is treating you as children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children. We have all had fathers here on earth who disciplined us, and we respected them. So it is even more important that we accept discipline from the Father of our spirits so we will have life. Our fathers on earth disciplined us for a short time in the way they thought was best. But God disciplines us to help us, so we can become holy as He is. We do not enjoy being disciplined. It is painful at the time, but later, after we have learned from it, we have peace, because we start living in the right way.” (Hebrews 12:5-11 NCV)
God’s discipline is never pleasant–it’s not meant to be. Otherwise, why would we ever change our ways? It would have no effect! He sends the locusts for a reason. But when discipline has served its intended purpose, it causes us to repent–to recognize we are wrong and God is right, and do a genuine correction in our life in our relationship with Him. That’s what repentance is–at its heart, it’s agreeing with God and lining ourselves up in an orderly fashion under His authority. King David described the attitude of someone who is right with God beautifully when he wrote, “LORD, my heart is not proud; I don’t look down on others. I don’t do great things, and I can’t do miracles. But I am calm and quiet, like a baby with its mother. I am at peace, like a baby with its mother.” (Psalms 131:1-2 NCV) After we have been effectively disciplined, “we have peace, because we start living the right way.”
So, have locusts consumed your life? Are you done rebelling? Is your way not working? Have you finally come to a point of recognizing God is right and His way best? Come back to Christ Jesus, the lover of our soul, and be right with Him and at peace!
Dear Lord God,
I’m sorry; You are right and I am wrong, and I’m coming back to You. Please fix my life and restore to me the years the locusts have eaten. Because of Your great mercy to me through Jesus I ask for this. Amen!