Has anything like this happened in your days
or in your fathers’ days? Joel 1:2
Joel recalls locusts overrunning Israel in his day. These insects devoured everything. This is how he described the destruction.
What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; and what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; and what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten. Joel 1:4
So devastating and complete was the ruin caused by these insects, every segment of society was in mourning. All were brought to their knees for lack of food and wine, not only for sustenance, but for offerings to the Lord. What’s more, all happiness was lost.
Indeed, rejoicing dries up from the sons of men. Joel 1:12
It’s hard not to feel the same way now. A global pandemic, wild fires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes in strange places, riots and destruction in the streets, political chaos, a powder keg in the Middle East, and these are just off the top of my head.
Down through time there have been incredibly bad stretches, but ultimately things turned around. But there will come a day when it doesn’t. The Bible’s quite clear on there being a “day of the Lord” in the end (23 explicit references), and no one on earth will escape.
Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near,
and it will come as destruction from the Almighty. Joel 1:15
How bad will this destruction be?
There has never been anything like it,
nor will there be again after it
to the years of many generations. Joel 2:2
No wonder Joel correlates his prophecy about the day of the Lord with an episode in the life of the nation so impactful that it was to be passed down from generation to generation (1:3).
Seeing the annihilation brought about by only grasshoppers, how much greater the devastation at the hands of almighty God? Is there then no hope? For the recalcitrant, no. For the redeemed, yes, absolutely!
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14