1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

JOEL - The Locusts Are Coming

I love dominoes.

I especially like the ones with the different colored dots.

There are many fun games to play with dominoes. I enjoyed that. But my favorite thing to do was to line them all up, real close together, and then topple them all down just by pushing the first one over.

Such a harmless tap of my finger – but oh, what it sets into motion!

Sin is like that.

Sometimes we can start with the smallest "innocent" decision or action, and without even knowing it, we set a series of consequences into motion.

Because sometimes that first "little" sin is merely the first domino – the one that makes all the other ones fall.

When I read today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" I was reminded of that:

"Listen, all who live in the land. In all your history, has anything like this happened before?...After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops, the swarming locusts took what was left! After them came the hopping locusts, and the stripping locusts, too!" (Joel 1:2, 4)

I investigated some commentaries to help understand the different types of locusts. Here's a quick overview of my research:

--Some scholars have suggested that the words indicate four stages in the
development of locusts
--Others believe that the locusts symbolize four different invading armies
--Many believe that the creatures here spoken of are different
kinds of locusts, so named from their number or voracity
--The law mentions several sorts of locusts – in fact, more than 80 different
kinds have been observed
--Slight as they are in themselves, beautiful and gorgeous, they are a scourge
that grows in successive devastation
--Each judgment, though in itself desolating, is later followed quickly by
another, and thus they complete their destructiveness
--Morally, also, four chief passions can desolate successively the human heart:
--lust – which so pollutes the heart it possesses
--vainglory (pride) – which exalts itself with empty presumptions
--gluttony and covetousness and materialism – appetites of impious desires that
are indulged in too immoderately, leading ever
more fiercely to any object of
--anger and impatience – whose flames wither the fruit of virtue

When some vices succeed to others, one plague enters to devour the *field* of the mind, while another is leaving it.

As much as I would love to tell you that I have no experience of this type of "plague" I have to be honest. There was a time when my life was invaded by sin.

I made one small decision at least it seemed small at the time – but it became the first domino to fall in my life.

Unbeknownst to me, the first wave of locusts had arrived.

It doesn't take much
one crucial lapse of judgment, one singular step over the line into sin, one selfish ignoring of faith and values, can lead to a "swarm effect."

An *innocent* beginning can quickly turn into devastation.

And you can end up feeling like the Israelites:

"Despair…wail…weep…The fields are ruined, the land is stripped bare. The grain is destroyed, the grapes have shriveled, and the olive oil is gone….And the people's joy has dried up within them." (Joel 1:10-12, parts)

Yes, I finally looked around at the mess of my life and realized – I was a wilderness. I was far from home, far from the Lord who loved me. And I wanted to return.

My repentance was quick. His forgiveness was instantaneous and complete. And though my healing took a little longer, I fully understood like never before, that the Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love.

He is eager to relent and not punish.

I will never forget the day when I knew that I was headed down a new path. I had a *random* meeting with a woman (no coincidence – this was a divine appointment). We talked, I told her about my story. She said some of the most powerful words I have ever heard – and oddly enough, they were from the book of Joel:

"The LORD says, 'I will restore to you the years
 that the swarming locust has eaten,
 the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter…Once again…you will praise the LORD your God, who does these miracles for you.'"
(Joel 2:25-26, ESV and NLT)

I hugged her with tears in my eyes.

Oh dear ones, God proved to be faithful.

He did indeed restore and revive me, renew and re-establish me. He paid back – many times over – the time that I lost.

My lesson for today?

It's two things.

First, be very careful when dealing with dominoes. One small sin can be the first catalyst to an onslaught of ensuing consequences – and one day you will find yourself devastated.

But, there is hope.

For the second lesson is this – we have a great and gracious God. And He is perfectly able, and completely willing, to forgive the repentant sinner. He can heal broken hearts, He can restore shattered relationships. He can mend and mold a faithful life out of the locust-eaten fields of iniquity.

Anyone who calls on God's name can be saved.

"I will pardon my people's crimes…and I, the LORD, will make my home…with my people." (Joel 3:21)

Do you, or does someone you know, need to hear this message of hope?

Won't you pass it on?

(I'm linked today with Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. And please feel free to visit me during the week at my other blog, Sharon Sharing God!)

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. The Locusts Are Coming!!!??? I sure hope not...

    I've had enough of them in my life and this is my promise from God that HE WILL RESTORE the years...

    Blessings Sharon,

    Such a good BIBLE PICK'EMS once again! And WOW such great notes from your research on just one little destructive creature! WOW!

    I've seen that 'domino effect' and how often I try not to enter that first touch or tip to start this inevitable fall after fall. Your words ring so true. One sin... snowballs that keep on rolling just look at David and Bathesheba (my how I relate to this - sad to admit and say). Now that you know me a little better, you get the MESS in my blog title. I would not ever have thought that of you.

    Here's what I get from this besides the wonderful writing style and story of repentance and restoration and your love of dominoes (not mine)::: :: ::: :: : LOCUSTS to be aware of: swarming, hopper, cutter, destroyer!

    Yep, I think I've seen them all. Think you should write just about these and give us examples of each kind. If I had your gift of writing, I would... I have seen much of the destroyer... but I've seen the swarming kind
    that just hangs around and you don't notice until you're engulfed by it or in it... and the
    hopper, well, that's just when we go from one sin to the next... the hoppers are along to keep it going... and then the cutter, yeahhh those are the sins that cut us deeply or someone else
    by our self-centeredness, wounds that keep on wounding... sometimes scars or stuff we thought was dealt with and taken care of... ohhh yeah,
    I've seen these locusts and the harm they have done me, my relationships, my life. But praise God!!! He promises to restore these years... hallelujah... Oh Yes, Lord, I'm so thankful for Your mercy and grace! Thank You for speaking these words through Sharon and her chose of Bible Pick'ems today.

    Am I alone? Am I the only this was written for?
    Great encouragement! Hope I remember this one when I do encounter someone who needs this message. (lol) God is so good and ever so faithful!

    Love and thanks,

  2. I wrote a comment but it did not take. God is good and he has always taken care of the domino effects in my family's lives. There have been many with one but we always came together as a family and prayed and cast those locusts (demons) out. Recently we did this and are waiting for the river to flow again and the blessings to fall. To God be the glory.

  3. What a beautiful heart felt post. The locust descriptions were interesting. I had never thought about locusts that way. I just thought locusts were locusts and they were destructive. I love the scriptures about restoration.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. I agree. There is hope for anyone who truly wants to be right in God's sight.

  4. Matthew 18:21-35 tells a story of forgiveness. It is the parable of the unforgiving servant. Verse 34 and 35 tells us that unless we forgive we will be treated harshley. We are to forgive 70 times 7. God bless you.

  5. This is a great post. I have never thought of life's problems being like a domino effect. I have however thought of it as a roller coaster ride. I guess one can be self-induced and the other comes from the effects of dealing with death and disease. Thank you for sharing this will us.

  6. OK Sharon... I got my fill of "locusts" this week starting with the infiltration on Mon. at MISSIONS. I sure hope that you didn't let out all of these different locusts(?) by just opening up this part of scripture (lol)...

    Today I'm praying that God will restore all that the locusts come to destroy, whether its dreams, ambitions, past or present relationships, blogs, future plans, etc.

    Love you and I'm looking forward to strolling with you tomorrow (but I don't want people to see me out visiting today when I'm suppose to be spending and focusing on PRAYERS & GOD time) so that's why I came to a previous post...(lol)Catch ya' tomorrow...
    XO Peggy (((U)))


"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!