“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you”. Joel 2:25 KJV
In ESV version of the same verse:
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you”.
Aside from the swarming locusts, Joel chapter 2 in the Bible also mentions cankerworm, caterpillar, and palmerworm in verse 25.
- Locust [Hebrew, “arbeh” / grasshopper] – destroy crops, strip the land of all vegetation, and wreak havoc on the environment. It could also be used as a metaphor for death and destruction
- Cankerworm [Hebrew, “yeleq” / to lick up] – a devourer. As the name implies, it devours anything and everything in its path
- Caterpiller [Hebrew, “chasiyl” / locust caterpillar] – the ravager. It ravages vegetation and utterly destroys everything in its way
- Palmerworm [Hebrew, “gazam” / a kind of locust] – devourer. It licks up everything that is left by the previous scourge of locust
Based on the description, we can easily picture out what the “day of the LORD” is like. A single locust, though small and insignificant on its own, can be joined with other locust to form a swarm and could be wielded with great potency in the hands of the LORD to bring judgment. And when judgment is executed, the locusts bring devastation and despair, destruction and death – scourge after scourge. The fact that such a small insect is more powerful than man makes us weak and humble.
And yet in all of these there is hope. The prophet Joel foresaw a future where God will restore the prosperity of His people.
The dictionary online defines Restore as:
“to return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position”.
“repair or renovate (a building, work of art, etc.) so as to return it to its original condition”.
Basically, it denotes restoration to a former state or condition.
God will restore the lost years of prosperity and peace: what the swarming locusts has destroyed, what the devourer has devoured, what the ravager has ravaged, and what the devourer has devoured of what’s left in all the previous scourges. We cannot hurry; and we cannot see ahead. We can only wait and hope, and hope for the best.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT