-A future event is prophesied with these time phrases, “in those days” and “at that time (Joel 3:1).” The future event is the restoration of the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem specifically. God will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat (area is unknown from this text, Jehoshaphat means judgment, this is the important concept the prophet is conveying). This is where God’s final judgment will come down in support of His people and His inheritance Israel. This refers not only to physical Israel, but also the spiritual Israel, which are all people from all nations who call on the Name of the LORD (Joel 2:32, Acts 10:34-35, 1 Peter 2:9). God will now bring into account those who scattered His people among the nations and divided up His promised land (Joel 3:2b). *Application* I believe this judgment parallels the third woe when the seventh trumpet is sounded in Revelation 11:15-19. God’s people will be saved, but the enemies of the LORD will perish in this great and awesome day of the LORD. It is described in Joel 3:14 as the valley of decision. We all have our choices to make. Whose side are we really on? “The LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel (Joel 3:16).” The earth will know that He is the LORD God Almighty. Nothing will stand in His way. Blessings are for His people, but destruction for those who turn away from Him and refuse His grace and mercy. Our God dwells in Zion and His children will inhabit it with Him forever (Joel 3:20, Revelation 3:12; 21:1-8).
-Joel began with a prophecy about the destruction of the land and ended with a prophecy about its restoration. He stressed the need for repentance in the beginning and ended with the promise that those in Him would receive the forgiveness and protection that repentance brings. Joel was trying to convince the people to wake up, the sweet wine of His goodness was about to be cut off (Joel 1:5). In the end, the sweet wine drips off of the mountains again with His blessings (Joel 3:18). *Application* God wants us to get rid of our complacency and realize the danger of living apart from Him. While there is still time and a chance, call on His Name and be saved (Acts 2:21). This morning I forgot to put out the trash for the trash truck that comes by to pick up the garbage. If I had been watchful, alert, and prepared the filth of our waste would be gone. As it is, the time came for the truck to come and go and our trash was not in its proper pick up spot. I missed the opportunity because of my negligence and forgetfulness. This is a minor thing as we will have extra trash pile up this week and get it picked up at this time next week. But its analogy is worth considering. Our souls are a far more important matter. God’s desire is for us to turn back to Him while there is time and opportunity. Don’t delay in receiving Him and His goodness and blessings. Time will eventually run out for us all and we will be held accountable for every sin we’ve committed if Christ does not cover them by His blood (1 Peter 4:5, Revelation 1:5-6).
Verse to Memorize: Joel 3:2, 16