“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;” Joel 2:12 ESV
The people of Judah were under attack. This time not from an invasion of an army but of locusts. The swarm of locusts was so thick they blackened the sky. They couldn’t turn around without finding locusts, including coming in through windows into their homes. In addition, locusts are voracious eaters, according to The Guardian in an article published April 13, 2020, “A swarm of just more than a third of a square mile can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.” As they traveled they left a devastating swath of destruction in their path, feeding on crops and grazing land, causing starvation of people and animals. In response, Joel calls on the people to return to God and pray for deliverance (MSG), “it’s not too late— GOD ’s personal Message!— “,Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!’” Did God send the locusts as punishment? I don’t believe so, locust infestations are a naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as I don’t believe God sent AIDS and COVID-19 as punishment. Will God help us in times of trouble? I firmly believe he will, but we need to ask, and before we ask we need to be repentant. Would we ask a friend for help that we’ve intentionally and unintentionally offended? No, we would first ask for forgiveness and have a change of heart.
God, we come to you today a repentant people. We know we are a sinful and ungrateful people, please forgive us. We believe in you and have confidence you will see us through every situation. Amen.