What Does ‘Repay You for the Years the Locusts Have Eaten’ Mean?

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What Does 'Repay You for the Years the Locusts Have Eaten’ Mean?

Photo by Ante Gudelj on Unsplash

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten

Joel 2:25

“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.”

Joel 2:25 NIV

The first time I heard this saying was in a women’s Bible study. The leader prayed over me asking God to restore to me what the locusts had eaten.

Locusts?! What do grasshoppers have to do with my problems?

She explained that this saying came from Joel, a prophet who wrote the prophetic book in the Old Testament.

Having lived through a terrible plague of locusts that destroyed Israel’s crops, Joel shared visions of the future by referring to this tragic plague. He wrote about the final judgement and restoration of God while using the locust invasion as an illustration.


The locusts devastated the harvest — including grape vines and fruit trees — from the current crop but also the seed for future crops.

God is perfectly holy, and although He is patient, God will not allow His children’s sin to go on forever. He may allow us to suffer the consequences of our sin or He may discipline us or both.


God promises to restore His repentant people to a place of blessing after judgment. He promises an abundant harvest to follow the desolation brought about by the locusts.

God is loving and desires to restore our relationship and bless us. When His children repent, God promises to give back whatever was lost.

The Bible study leader explained that through judgment God deals with sin. But she told me to be encouraged because God is merciful and promises to restore those who repent. There is hope.

That day, I repented and left the Bible study blessed for it.

You may also like this: What Does It Mean to Eat the Flesh of the Son of Man?
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