After the prophet revealed how God will pour out the Holy Spirit universally and make salvation available to all mankind, Joel now warns of the Lord’s judgment over the nations of the earth.
1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. 3 They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.”
Here, Joel prophesied of the day the Lord would gather the nations who rose up against the Jews, into the valley of Jehoshaphat where He will judge them and cast out His judgment upon them. The exact day and location of this judgment remains unknown, but the prophet does reveal the name of the valley where God will exalt the Hebrew nation, and curse those who so horribly mistreated His people going as far as trading Jewish children to fulfill their sexual desires or to get drunk.
4 “Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head;”
Tyre and Sidon were Gentile port cities located on the Mediterranean coast, and the coastal plain where the Philistines lived after invading from Caphtor were well known for oppressing the people of God. Joel shares the Lord’s warning for those regions, and how they should accept His judgment or suffer even greater punishment.
5 “Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions. 6 Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders.”
When Judah was invaded, God’s people were taken captive and their possessions were divided among the Phoenicians and Philistines who captured and sold them as slaves, stole the Jews’ silver and gold which was used to profusely adorn angels and saints in their temples. The Phoenicians and Philistines worshiped false gods, and they used God’s precious metals in their false worship.
7 “Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. 8 I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the Lord has spoken.”
Here, Joel warns those who persecuted Jews that judgment awaited them, and they should be on the lookout for God’s revenge as He does onto them as they have done to His people, placing His wrath upon them by selling their descendants to the Arab traders.
9 “Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. 10
Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ” 11 Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.”
Joel then shares how God taunts His enemies by urging them to get ready for war as those who persecuted the Jews are invited to come and fight Him in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where He will cast out His vengeance against them.
12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow— For their wickedness is great.”
God’s anger for those nations who persecuted His people is at hand, and His wrath upon them will be so great that all His enemies will perish. Their sins are many, and their unrepented souls are to burn in agony in Hades where there will be gnashing of teeth, pain and suffering forever.
14 “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.”
Next, the prophet describes the location for this battle, the valley of Jehoshaphat where the sentence of God’s judgment will be carried out against the nations who oppressed the Jews who will be spared from the Lord’s wrath on that judgment day.
17 “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
Lastly, Joel announces the earthly location of the millennial temple where God’s will reside, in Jerusalem where He will reign for eternity inn ultimate peace and harmony with those who place their trust in Him, those precious few whose banes are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the book of Joel,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use the prophet’s writings in our lives
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre