Summary: God's grace not only forgives our sin, it also restores the negative aspects of our sin.
1. Illustration: God does not hold our old sins against us, nor does He act like forgiveness is a favor to us, even though it is. When President Lincoln was asked how he would treat the rebellious southerners when they were defeated, he said, "I will treat them as if they had never been away.
2. In a world obsessed with getting even and holding on to a grudge, I am glad that we serve a God who consistently looks to forgive and forget.
3. One of the many benefits of the atonement of Christ is something called "justification," and the best way I've heard this described is "just as if I'd never sinned."
4. Not only does God forgive our sins, but he also restores what our sin robs from us.
5. God wants to...
A. God Wants To Restore Us
B. God Wants To Restore Our Blessings
C. God Wants To Restore What The Devil Stole From Us
Proposition: God's grace not only forgives our sin, it also restores the negative aspects of our sin.
Transition: The first thing that God wants to do is...
I. God Wants To Restore You (18-20).
A. The Lord Will Pity His People
1. It's human nature to hold on to hurt, however, it is not God's nature. When he forgives he treats it as if it never happened.
2. In v. 18 the text turns from what God wants his people to do to what he is going to do. It says, "Then the LORD will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land."
A. The verb ("pity") looks inward toward the people rather than outward toward other interests.
B. Yahweh directs his compassion and pity on his suffering people, just as Pharaoh's daughter did on the crying baby Moses.
C. Verse 18 is a literary pivot in the book. Up to now, the problem has been presented and the response of the people has been called for.
D. Now God's response unfolds. It is not introduced here, however, since the possibility ("who knows?") of restoration was laid out in 2:14.
E. Now that possibility is reality ("the LORD will"). The same structure is found in the Flood story, which built up to the climax of God's remembering Noah (Baker, The NIV Application Commentary – Joel, Obadiah, Malachi: From biblical text...to contemporary life, 75).
3. Then the Lord says, "The LORD will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations."
B. The uncertainty of God's "perhaps" of 2:14 now becomes the certainty of his "yes, I will."
C. In Hosea, God promises to respond to Israelite faithfulness by having the earth provide grain, wine, and oil (Hos. 2:21-22).
D. This happens "in that day," the Day of the Lord. God here responds (using the same verb, ?nh) through the same three agricultural products.
E. For Joel, these events following the Judean response to God fulfill Hosea's prophecy (Baker, 76).