God often starts a prophecy with a warning, but He also offers hope and blessing. God wants His people to do the right thing, to turn to Him, to be blessed. But sometimes, people are stubborn and it takes drastic measures to get their attention. Actions result in consequences. Ever wonder why there is so much chaos and so many troubles in this world? Perhaps we need to turn to God. Perhaps He is trying to get our attention.
Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; and what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth. For a nation has come up against my land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion. He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree; he has stripped it bare and thrown it away; its branches are made white.
Some writers think this would be an actual plague that had happened, others a coming plague because of Israel’s disobedience and others say the plague is figurative and it describes an army. I always believe that the words of the Bible are literal unless it is obvious that it is figurative. But, whichever way it is, the point is still a call to repentance.
Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
O LORD, to You I cry out; for fire has devoured the open pastures, and a flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the open pastures.
When you look at this past year or so, we see various natural disasters, some of which were not widely publicized; last year there was a devastating locust swarm that swept across Africa, there has been storms and earthquakes and fires, riots and protests and divisions between people, not to mention the pandemic and all the divisiveness and chaos it has caused. Are we at a time of judgement? A call to repentance?
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him—a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room.
As we read in Hosea in the previous post, God just wants our hearts. He wants His people to turn to Him. No matter what we are going through, we can trust God to get us through it. No matter what we have done, God loves us and is ready to forgive us. Do you know Jesus? My prayer is that you do. If you trust in Him and believe that He paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead, you will be saved, you will have eternal life with Him.