When God Restores What the Locusts Eat

“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 – My great army that I sent among you.” – Joel 2:25

There are seasons in our lives that involve times of famine and times of restoration. Solomon tells us that He has made everything beautiful in its time and that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1,11.)

God brings about both the good and the bad. The seasons of famine have a divine purpose in our lives. They accomplish things that only these hard places can accomplish. But there is a time when those hard places have accomplished their purpose and He begins to restore. God did this with the nation of Israel after a season of famine and devastation.

Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. “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 – My great army that I sent among you. 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. 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” (Joel 2:23-27).

God wants each of us to know that there is a time when He will restore in order to demonstrate His gracious hand in our lives. He is a loving Father who tenderly guides His children through the difficult places. If God has taken you through a time of leanness, know that He is the restorer of that which the locusts have eaten. Wait patiently for Him to bring this about in your life. He will do it.

TGIF, Today God Is First. Copyright © 2016 by Os Hillman. All rights reserved.


“Sons of Jacob”

By “the sons of Jacob” are meant persons who enjoy peculiar rights and titles. Jacob had no rights by birth; but he soon acquired them. He changed a mess of pottage with his brother Esau, and thus gained the birthright. I do not justify the means; but he did also obtain the blessing, and so acquired peculiar rights. By the “sons of Jacob” are meant persons who have peculiar rights and titles. Unto them that believe, He hath given the right and power to become sons of God. They have an interest in the blood of Christ; they have a right to “enter in through the gates Into the city”; they have a title to eternal honours; they have a promise to everlasting glory; they have a right to call themselves sons of God. Oh! there are peculiar rights and privileges belonging to the “sons of Jacob.”

But these “sons of Jacob” were men of peculiar manifestations. Jacob had had peculiar manifestations from his God, and thus he was highly honoured. Once, at night-time, he lay down and slept; he had the hedges for his curtains, the sky for his canopy, a stone for his pillow, and the earth for his bed. Oh! then he had a peculiar manifestation. There was a ladder, and he saw the angels of God ascending and descending. He thus had a manifestation of Christ Jesus, as the ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, up and down which angels came to bring us mercies. Then what a manifestation there was at Mahanaim, when the angels of God met him; and again at Peniel, when he wrestled with God, and saw Him face to face. Those were peculiar manifestations; and this passage refers to those who, like Jacob, have had peculiar manifestations.

The sons of Jacob have had peculiar manifestations. They have talked with God as a man talketh with his friend; they have whispered in the ear of Jehovah; Christ hath been with them to sup with them, and they with Christ; and the Holy Spirit hath shone into their souls with such a mighty radiance, that they could not doubt about special manifestations. The “sons of Jacob” are the men who enjoy these manifestations.

Then, they are men of peculiar trials. Ah! poor Jacob! I should not choose Jacob’s lot if I had not the prospect of Jacob’s blessing; for a hard lot his was. He had to run away from his father’s house to Laban’s; and then that surly old Laban cheated him all the years he was there—cheated him of his wife, cheated him in his wages, cheated him in his flocks, and cheated him all through the story. By-and-bye he had to run away from Laban, who pursued him and overtook him. Next came Esau with four hundred men to cut him up root and branch. Then there was a season of prayer, and afterwards he wrestled, and had to go all his life with his thigh out of joint. But a little further on, Rachel, his dear beloved, died. Then his daughter Dinah is led astray, and the sons murder the Shechemites. Anon there is dear Joseph sold into Egypt, and a famine comes. Then Reuben goes up to his couch and pollutes it; Judah commits incest with his own daughter-in-law; and all his sons become a plague to him. At last Benjamin is taken away; and the old man, almost broken-hearted, cries, “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away.” Never was man more tried than Jacob, all through the one sin of cheating his brother. All through his life God chastised him. But I believe there are many who can sympathize with dear old Jacob. They have had to pass through trials very much like his. Well, cross-bearers! God says, “I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Poor tried souls! ye are not consumed because of the unchanging nature of your God. Now do not get fretting, and say, with the self-conceit of misery, “I am the man who hath seen affliction.” Why, “the Man of Sorrows” was afflicted more than you; Jesus was indeed a mourner. You only see the skirts of the garments of affliction. You never have trials like His. You do not understand what troubles mean; you have hardly sipped the cup of trouble; you have only had a drop or two, but Jesus drank the dregs. “Fear not,” saith God, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob,” men of peculiar trials, “are not consumed.”

Then, “sons of Jacob” are men of peculiar character; for though there were some things about Jacob’s character which we cannot commend, there are one or two things which God commends. There was Jacob’s faith, by which Jacob had his name written amongst the mighty worthies who obtained not the promises on earth, but shall obtain them in heaven. Are you men of faith, beloved? Do you know what it is to walk by faith, to live by faith, to get your temporary food by faith, to live on spiritual manna—all by faith? Is faith the rule of your life? if so, you are the “sons of Jacob.”

Then Jacob was a man of prayer—a man who wrestled, and groaned, and prayed. “Ah! you poor heathen, don’t you pray?” “No!” you say, “I never thought of such a thing; for years I have not prayed.” Well, I hope you may before you die. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell. There is a woman: she was so busy sending her children to the Sunday-school, she had no time to pray. No time to pray? Had you time to dress? There is a time for every purpose under heaven, and if you had purposed to pray, you would have prayed. Sons of God cannot live without prayer. They are wrestling Jacobs. They are men in whom the Holy Ghost so works, that they can no more live without prayer than I can live without breathing. They must pray. Mark you, if you are living without prayer, you are living without Christ; and dying like that, your portion will be in the lake which burneth with fire. God redeem you, God rescue you from such a lot! But you who are “the sons of Jacob” take comfort, for God is immutable.

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Psalm 94:18-19 ERV: I know I was ready to fall, but, LORD, your faithful love supported me. I was very worried and upset, but you comforted me and made me happy!

On the one hand, there are the ordinary and mundane trials, troubles, and tribulations of life and, on the other hand, there are the trials, troubles, and tribulations of life that take us to the very brink. Like the psalmist, many of us may have come to that point. Many of us may have come to the edge of the precipice and were about to fall. It wasn’t anything that we could manage or bear on our own. It had suddenly turned into a life or death situation.

The trouble rose up so quickly against us that we didn’t even have a chance to call out to God. Like someone who has tripped and was about to fall, we did not anticipate it and were not prepared for it. Nevertheless, the LORD stepped in before anything really bad could happen. We had surrendered to the inevitable, but the LORD kept that from happening. We were not aware of it, but His hand had been supporting us all along. His love stopped the fall that was about to smash us to pieces.

The trouble rose up so quickly that we didn’t even have the chance to get control of ourselves. We know we shouldn’t be worried and upset. We know we should trust God. But things happened so quickly that we had no opportunity to settle down. Fear and worry took control and in a flash our imaginations pictured every dire possibility that could have happened. Although it didn’t last long, the whole experience was one of complete torment.

The LORD, however, stopped the disaster in its tracks. As quickly as it rose up, He stepped in and prevented it from happening. He had been ready for it all along. We were swept away by torment and terror, but He quickly comforted and consoled us. He made us happy. He made us happy that we are His people. The LORD cares for us and loves us. He is ready to help us when we need Him. He can step in and help us even before we have a chance to ask Him for help.

Like a friend that reaches out to keep us from falling, He doesn’t always have to be asked first.

Copyright © 2015 by Bible League International. All rights reserved.

The Trendiest East Coast Neighborhoods

We all love to travel, but most of us don’t want to feel like tourists. Many of the big cities on the East Coast are undeniable tourist traps, but there are swanky alternatives just around the corner. Whether your definition of cool requires an abundance of microbreweries, independent coffee shops or unique artisans, there is a neighborhood for you. We’ve selected some of the trendiest neighborhoods on the East Coast that are sure to boost your bohemian street cred.

Williamsburg, New York

Subway station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

Williamsburg is a hipster hub that offers the perfect excuse to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Formerly a manufacturing neighborhood, it’s now home to an overflow of artists and has become a beacon of creativity. Embrace the neighborhood’s motto of ‘do your own thing’ and create your own version of cool. Vintage shops and flea markets give you chance to build your style, whatever that may be, and as long as you wear it proudly, you’ll fit right in. With music at its heart, it’s not a quiet area. Overflowing record stores entice music lovers to dig for hidden gems while outside the party starts early and finishes late. Find your spot on one of the outdoor bars or keep your eyes peeled for pop-up parties in parking lots, rooftops and lofts.

Fishtown, Philadelphia

Daytime traffic on the streets of Fishtown district, Philadelphia

Don’t let the name put you off; this town is far from fishy. The name comes from its working-class history as a center for the commercial shad-fishing industry. The recent influx of new residents has integrated with the old in this neighborhood, and families and small businesses are now at its heart. This unique blend of locals has given way to an arts and dining renaissance, with new eclectic music and dining spots continuously appearing, giving the area a stream of new life. Street artists use the neighborhood as a canvas for their work. Constantly evolving artwork pops up before your eyes. Meanwhile, cats and dogs rule, watching you from every window. They’ll no doubt spot you as you head on a brewery tour to spots like Fishtown Brewpub to taste the unusual craft beers that are creating a scene.

Adams Morgan, Washington D.C.

Colorful building fronts in Adams Morgan, Washington

Adams Morgan, or ‘AdMo’ if you’re in the know, is actually the name for four different neighborhoods. The area has gone from rich to poor and back again and is still standing strong, proud of its position as an anti-suburb and embracing diversity. If you’re looking for posh and pristine, this neighborhood isn’t for you. AdMo is gritty and has an air of rebellion about it. It’s the nightlife and countless bars that pull in the crowds. Mingle with the college kids and relive your youth dancing the night away and then lining up for a late night snack. In September the neighborhood even has its own festival of music, arts and crafts, highlighting its many influences and ethnic roots.

Charlestown, Boston

Buildings in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston

Charlestown is steeped in history with its naval base and shipyard, monuments galore, and infamous mobster past. Recently the neighborhood has attracted a diverse crowd of young professionals who have been lured by the startup culture for food and drink establishments along the Navy Yard and harbor. You can get down to the nitty-gritty of the neighborhood and soak up the cool attitude at one of the many dive bars. Or embrace your inner hipster by enrolling in the film society, shopping at the farmers’ market or checking out the tropical swing and Celtic music. Everyone is a foodie in Charlestown so whether you’re eating at a pop-up dinner or are diving into a local haunt, a feast awaits.

Little Five Points, Georgia

A showcase of the alternate art culture in Little Five Points, Atlanta, Georgia

Little Five Points has quickly become one of the trendiest spots in Atlanta, and if shopping is top of your list, then this is the neighborhood for you. The area is rife with quirky little shops from bookstores to bike shops and is the perfect haunt for die-hard shoppers. Once you’ve had your fill of offbeat vintage clothing and vinyl, there is a hipster food scene to match it. The trendy youngsters hang out at dive bars and burger joints while variety can be found in the Ethiopian and vegan restaurants. There is an alternative music scene to match with The Variety Playhouse, a live music venue in a converted 1940s cinema, delivering an eclectic mix of artists.

RAD, North Carolina

Colorful warehouses in the River Arts District of Asheville NC

Asheville has to be one of the trendiest cities on the East Coast. Situated amongst the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, it mixes hipster vibes with an adventurous spirit. And in the heart of Asheville you’ll find the RAD (River Arts District). Settled between downtown and West Asheville, this area is home to one of the headquarters of New Belgium Brewing Company. Converted 1980s buildings along the French Broad River are home to a studio space where the works of over 200 local artists are displayed. As with any trendy town, music is a big part of Asheville’s appeal with jazz and bluegrass setting the scene at many of the local bars. All this without touching on the huge craft beer scene, with plenty of craft breweries in the city it’s a beer-loving hipster’s dream.

Lianne is a freelance writer with a penchant for learning foreign languages, and what better way than to practice in situ. She loves to use her linguistic skills to get in-the-know with the locals. Seeking out intriguing music, new forms of dance, and fabulous food, she revels in being a discoverer.