Guardian of the Galaxy

The Years the Locusts Ate

n Joel 2:25 the Lord says through the prophet to His people, “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.” Matthew Henry says this is a prefiguring of the gospel, the years being the judgment we experience when we live apart from God and under the law; the repaid years, the blessings to which we are restored having experienced God’s grace by repentance.

I was reminded of this when listening to British septuagenarian and singer-songwriter Bill Fay. His song, “ I Hear You Calling,” off his latest album, "Who Is the Sender?," and a remake of his 1971 recording, has these lines: “Some say messiah coming/ give me back my time/ All my time is lying on the factory floor/And all my time is lying on the factory floor.” I found that sense there, that having been consigned to the drudgery of factory work for many years, the narrator looks forward to the redemption of all that time when Christ returns and restores all things.

I suspect we all have some lost years, some wasted parts of life, some days when we served only ourselves or labored under the curse and failed to look to the Cross. What a great promise that we’ll get all that time back, that the years the locusts ate will be repaid. Indeed, the One who owes us nothing will give us all.