GOD'S PROMISE OF RESTORATION




November 20, 2005 Sunday
Morning Devotion, 6:00am-8:00am

TEXT: I will give you back what you lost in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops. It was I who sent this army against you. --JOEL 2:25--

TITLE: GOD'S PROMISE OF RESTORATION

BACKGROUND: During the 4th century B.C., the Prophet Joel describes a terrible invasion of locusts and a devastating drought in Palestine. The crops have been devours by locusts, and the graveyards have been destroyed.

MAIN POINTS:

1. I will give you back what you lost in years...

--We have something in possession that was taken away from us - and these refer to blessings we enjoy in this life.

--If we fail to hear the voice of the Lord, i.e., if we backslide from our faith, we will lost these blessings and opportunities for years.

--But if we take heed to His warnings and turn back to God, He will give us back what is lost. This is a promise that God gave us.

2. ...when swarm of locusts ate our crops.

--Crops refer to the blessings of God we enjoy, while locusts refer to trials we are experiencing as human beings.

--It is described here that these problems are not simply locusts but swarm of locusts, meaning these trials and temptations are too many and big enough to devour us and make us fall.

3. It was I who sent this army against you.

--Here, God is explicitly saying that it is He who will send these trials to test us. How pure is our faith in Him will be tested through trials and temptations.

--For what reason God is giving us these trials? To give us a lesson.

This scenario is for all of us. We know our calling. We are called by God to serve Him faithfully without reservations. In our Christian life, there are ups and downs. We praise God if are on fire in our service to Him. But we must also be thankful if we experience trials in our life. To test our faithfulness to the Lord, He sends "swarms of locusts" upon us. If we are not on guard, these locusts will eat our crops - the blessings we enjoy, the potentials we have, our strengths. That's why God speaks to us daily through His Word to be on guard because the enemy is like a roaring lion ready to devour us.

Every one of us has his own locusts in life. Some Christians could stand still and continue serving the Lord. They endure. But others may fail. They may be completely destroyed spiritually or backslidden. There is hope. When we turn away from our sins, realizing that God is offering His hands to us, He will surely restore us. He is making a promise that He will give us back what we lost. With this, the Lord is speaking to us through the Prophet Isaiah: "Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happenned long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening now already - you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there." (Isaiah 43: 18-19) What a beautiful promise! This is God's promise of restoration to those who take heed of His warnings. 
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