By Belinda Kaplan – Elizabeth, Colorado
God bless you in the powerful name of Jesus Christ at whose name every knee should bow, and in whom we always triumph!
In Joel 2:25-26, we can learn about our enemy from the locusts the children of Israel dealt with, but more importantly, about the restoration our Father provides.
“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. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:25-26 KJV
The word “restore” is the Hebrew word shalam (sometimes translated “peace”), meaning “to be in a covenant of peace.” It can also carry the meaning of, “to be complete, sound, finished, or uninjured.” It has the idea of “completion, to make safe, to make whole or restore, or to make compensation.”
The very graphic use of “locusts” demonstrates what the enemy would like to do, and in fact, attempts to inflict on God’s people. Despite the enemy’s “talent” for causing mayhem and confusion, we have God’s promise of complete restoration: now and in the future.
But in what areas do we need to be restored?
The Accuser Devours…
“Locust” refers literally to swarms of locusts. Figuratively, swarms of locusts also refers to the spirit realm. Their ultimate goal is to devour so nothing remains.
A swarm of locusts
“Cankerworm” refers to a young locust as it devours. It’s Hebrew root word can mean: “to lick up; a devourer.” That makes me think of the Devourer!
Nahum 3:16 refers to “the cankerworm that spoileth.” That word “spoileth” is really disgusting! It refers to “stripping off of the flesh; to make a dash or cut the flesh with a sword or knife; or to flay.”
It also can mean “to raid or put out of one’s shelter.” It also has another meaning, “to censure or criticize severely, to denounce, or condemn.” That’s what the enemy does best as the Accuser!
“Palmerworm” comes from the root word also meaning, “to devour by pulling in pieces; to comb or sift, both from the idea of plucking.” I think from what we are seeing in the context so far is a whole lot of devouring going on!
“Caterpillar” refers to, “the ravager that eats away or devours.” It is from the root word meaning, “to consume, finish off, or bring to an end.” Here is a translation that illustrates this a bit better.
“The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.” Joel 2:25 NLT
This verse gives the impression that God directly sent the locusts to destroy His people. This is definitely not the case. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. He is the Father of lights who only gives good gifts.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change of shifting shadow.” James 1:17 BSB
He emphatically does not cause bad things to happen to His people. The children of Israel had little understanding of a spiritual enemy.
BUT GOD intervenes…
It was Jesus Christ who, “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them” (Colossians 2:15). There’s that disgusting word “spoil” again; but now, not so disgusting.
Now, we inflict pain on our enemy every time God’s Word is spoken and believed! The enemy is all darkness; in him is no light at all. It’s he who devastates people’s lives.
Just as God intervened when Israel turned their hearts to Him, He does the same for us, His children. He alone provides prosperity, peace, and protection to His people.
Our Father is the same yesterday, today and for all eternity. His mercy and graciousness never fail. As He continued to deliver the children of Israel; He does the same for us.
“He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Psalms 107:20 KJV
We have health, prosperity, grace, mercy, peace, and all the good gifts from the Father of Lights.
The Ultimate Victory
We also have the promise of the ultimate and final restoration of the future; when “death is swallowed up in victory;” when we can shout, “O death, where is thy sting?”; when God “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…”
With outstretched arms, we look to the new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness to forever be with the Lord; where we will never be disappointed in our expectations!
Belinda grew up in West Virginia and first loved the Word of God in 1980. Now 40 years later, she continues in ministry with her husband Jim. They’re both students of the Scriptures and lovers of the Spirit.