The Lord’s Answer

18 Then the Lord was jealous for his land
and took pity on his people.

19 The Lord replied[a] to them:

“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.

20 “I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise.”

Surely he has done great things!
21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm[b]—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

–Devotion–

God responds to the goading of his people. He has decided he will not make them a spectacle among the nations. The promise of wine and grain is a promise to establish the land again. Remember, the land is a very important part of God’s promise to Israel. His promise was to give them a land, flowing with milk and honey, where they could be safe, free from enemies, and prosperous. The only thing that has stood in the way of that land has been the people Israel. Their treachery and rebelliousness has cost them the land time and time again. It cost them the land for 40 years in the wilderness. It cost them the land when they failed to conquer it as God had commanded under Joshua’s leadership. It cost them the land during the time of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel when Assyria and Babylon came and took the land by violent force. But now, God will again give them the land.

Notice the reversal. In the prophetic works the promises of restoration bring with them reversal of the previous things. God was commanding and army of locusts to wipe out Israel’s prosperity. Now, the Lord will give the Israelites the years the locusts ate. The fields were scorched with fire but now they are rich and green. These themes of reversal are normal in all the prophetic books.

In the same way reversal is still a promise for us. In Jesus death was destroyed. Even though Jesus is not subject to death, we still are. The promise for us is that in the near future that will be reversed. Our promise is that God is faithful to those he has chosen and that in that faithfulness he will raise us as he has raised his Son. When that happens, not only is death as the curse destroyed but with it all the effects of the curse of Sin. But, for now, the prince of this world and the present evil age rule. This is just another reason why we gather corporately on Sunday mornings. We not only gather so that we might love and care for one another, but so that we might announce in Song, and prayer, and creed, and by the saying of “Amen!” to the sermon, that the reign and rule of Satan has met its end in Jesus. If it can get any better, the promise of land still exists as well. Those who remain faithful to the Lord will share in the whole kingdom of the Lord. That Kingdom is all the land of creation. That is the day we are waiting for, praying will come soon, and singing into immanence.

Pastor Beltz

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