Book of Joel
Chapter 3, Part 9
We have come to chapter three of the book of Joel. Where we saw God’s promise to deliver and restore Israel in Chapter two, chapter three will show us what God’s deliverance will be. Verse 1 begins the revelation of what is to come.
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…” (Joel 3:1) Also read Jeremiah 30:3 when you have time. God said, “Behold.” That means to open your spiritual eyes and watch and put your spiritual ears on and listen to the details of what’s about to happen to God’s chosen people. What the people are to be observant about who read this chapter of Joel is the remnant of Israel which God will deliver for the vile enemy’s hand when all the years of life on earth as we know it are over. It will be after the “day of the Gentile” after the day of “the Son of man” and before Jesus comes to earth for the second and final time.
One thing I believe we should observe is that God once had Moses and Aaron come against Pharaoh with plagues until he set Israel free from the Egyptian captivity. Here, God will come against satan himself and his henchmen and all the people on earth who are the enemies of the Jews. God will send plague after plague, again as in Egypt each successive one will be harsher and harm more people until finally Jesus will come at the “battle” of Mount Megiddo, better known as Armageddon, and will once for all free His people. This all will take place when the name of Israel will be subverted and it will be an automatic death penalty to be a Jew.
“In those days” is a set time in history. It started when the religious Jews saw that Jesus was about to take control of the people of Israel from them and they wanted Him removed. The only way they knew to accomplish that completely was to have Jesus killed. The time referred to here, in Joel 3:1, began when the Jewish leaders cried out, “…we have no king but Caesar; His Blood be upon us and upon our children.” That’s when they became servants of satan. If you take time to read the account of the conversation between Pilate and the chief priests in John 19, you will see that even Pilate knew that Jesus was king of the Jews. Matter of fact, you will see that he even had a sign declaring the fact over Jesus’ head written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin, stating, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Pilate knew, but the Jews denied it then and most deny it now.
The time that began that day will end when Israel denounces the devil and God restores them to their land under His kingship forever. (Acts 26:18)
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (verse 2). How will God gather the nations? “But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” (Micah 4:12). This “plead with them there for my people” does not mean God will beg the nations not to hurt of kill His children. It means He will be the lawyer for the Jews and set a plea before men. His plea will declare, “Not guilty.” This will make God the accuser and the judge of the nations who have come against Israel. It will all take place on the last “great and terrible day of the Lord.”
If you take time to read the news about Israel, you will come to understand that all nations will rise against her at the end. Even now, Italy, a long-time friend and supporter of Israel is turning against her and withholding all help from her. The United States has always stood strong with Israel and now she is among those calling for the division of the sacred lands of the covenant. When this great day of the Lord takes place, Israel will have no allies. She will stand facing the entire world alone, so she thinks. But God will come and defend her. Just as the nations believe they have Israel at the point of annihilation, God will step forth and Jesus will come to earth. God’s judgment will be harsh, but well deserved. They not only caused the Jews to flee their land and be scattered among the nations, they divided the land among themselves, and…
“And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink” (verse 3). We can see that the nations have casts lots for Israel’s people before. Look at Nahum: 3:10, “Yet was she (Israel) carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.” Israel’s kings and political leaders were considered no better than the rest of the Jews and were also doled out according to the throwing of the “dice.” In Nahum’s account, the children were killed in a brutal fashion. In Joel, we are told the children were sold. Boys were sold either to be male prostitutes or were given as payment to prostitutes for their services for a night, and girls were sold to the wine makers for a night of drunkenness. In either case, there was no value
placed on the children of God, the apple of His eye. The double sacrilege in this is that the nations not only scattered the Jews all over the world, they then occupied the Holy Land.
The Jews have been returning to their land in record numbers for many years now, but the “Palestinians” are fighting to chase them off their land claiming it was always theirs when it never was. God chose the lands Israel would inhabit and He led her into one victory after the other in order to possess the lands He had given to her. Israel has returned most of the land to her neighbors in trade agreements or lost it in wars. When Jesus comes back, these nations will be defeated and Israel will take her rightful place as God’s holy people in His Holy Land of Jerusalem. Please understand that the nations spoken of in Joel are the Middle Eastern and Asian countries that have always been referred to in the Bible as Israel’s enemies. They do not refer to the United States or other countries that didn’t exist back then. However, for the USA and other countries to now turn against Israel will number them among those upon who will come harsh
judgment and punishment as well.
“Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? (Philistia) will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head; Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border” (verses 4-6). A rhetorical question is one that requires no answer. This question from God to the nations is a rhetorical question. “What have you, who have hurt my people, insulted them, driven them from their land and sold them into slavery, to do with me? Do you think you can repent and be saved now? Too late!”
Another rhetorical question in verse 4 is, “Will ye render me a recompense?” God is asking the nations if they are treating Israel badly as a way of taking their revenge for his tossing them out of their country. In other words, He’s asking them if they were trying to punish Him by hurting His chosen people. You see, they all knew God had put his hand on Israel and called them His “peculiar treasure.” “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:5–6).
Rahab, the harlot in Jericho who helped the spies who were searching out the land to determine the strength of its army before the possession could take place, knew God’s hand was among the people of Israel. She told the spies, “'I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan, unto Sihon and to Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard it, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9-11). She knew Jericho would fall to theire hands and all she wanted for hiding the spies under the flax was life for her family and herself. She was given that. God honored Rahab further by causing her name to be mentioned in the lineage of Jesus. (Matthew 1:5)
God warned the nations that if they are trying to pay him back by hurting Israel, He would reward them for their evil quickly.
“Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things…” Haggai 2:8 declares, “The silver is mine and the gold mine sayeth the Lord of hosts.” Shishak (later called Pharaoh) and then Asa took the riches of God’s temple that Solomon had built with things made from the gold and silver and bronze his father, David, had amassed for this purpose. They sent it to other countries. This was an insult to God as all the bowls and things in the temple were holy and dedicated to the Lord. These people proceeded to use the holy vessels in service to their gods and for personal use.
The armies of Tyre, Zidon and Palestine looted Judah and Jerusalem then later took the “goodly things” back to their homes and either used them or sold them to others.
The people of Tyre were slave traders (Ezekiel 27:13) and, when the nations came against Judah and Jerusalem, they took the people captive and sold the men and male children to the Greeks as slaves. They removed them from their land and took them far off so that their relatives could not redeem them and they could not return to their homes. Many Jews still remain far from their homeland and are praying and working hard to afford to get to Israel. They know the time is short, even if they don’t all agree that Jesus is their sent Messiah they have waited so long and hard for.
Book of Joel
Chapter 3, Part 10
“Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it” (Joel 3: 7, 8). God will rescue His people from around the world as He did from Egypt. He will bring them back to their land and one day will restore the entire nation of Israel as He outlined it in His covenant with them when they took the land. It’s not just the kings and princes God will return to Israel, but every single descendant of every Jew ever born under the Abrahamic covenant whether they are in the deep forests of Africa, the Arctic Tundra of Siberia, or the heart of the United States. Look at Isaiah 43:5, 6, “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give
up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth…”
All the nations who have had a hand in causing Israel to escape into exile will answer for their part in cursing God’s chosen people and His Holy Land. Revelation 13:10 warns, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Do you see the concept here? What we do to others always comes back to bite us in some way. The people of the Middle East and countries who agree with them, whose primary concern is being permanently rid of Israel, will pay dearly with their lives, the lives of their loved ones and their lands.
New Agers think they are clever with their karmic saying, “What goes around comes around,” but it’s really another biblical principle of God that they stole. In Matthew 26: 51, 52, as Jesus is preparing to be hanged on the cross, Peter took up his sword in anger and struck the ear from a soldier’s head. Jesus picked up the ear and reattached it like it never happened. He then turned to Peter and gave a profound, though short, sermon. He said, “Those who take up the sword will die by the sword.”
The involvement of the United States in dividing up the lands of Israel is a direct cause of the difficulties we are living with here now. As long as Obama and his cohorts insist on being “peace brokers” who force Israel into relinquishing her covenanted land, they call down greater curses on this country, and the people will suffer. Look at all the farmland we recently lost to the floods. That should make us aware of what the retribution of God looks like.
Some people believe Obama is the antichrist. There are many reasons this is not possible. I’ll give you three. 1. The antichrist will come out of the Middle East: Obama was born in Kenya, Africa. 2. The antichrist will not be revealed until the nations are at war against Israel and he steps up to sign a peace treaty with Israel for 7 years. 3. The antichrist cannot appear until the “Restrainer” the Holy Spirit is taken from the earth for a while, and that isn’t until the saints of God are taken to heaven in the “catching away” or “rapture” of the church. So, although Obama is anti-Israel, and anti-prayer, he is not antichrist.
“And now you know what is holding him (antichrist) back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one (Holy Spirit) who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong” (verses 9, 10). In verse 2, God said he would gather all the nations and bring them down to Jehoshaphat. Now Joel returns to that thought to expand on it. Through Joel, God spoke a proclamation which went out to all the Gentile nations, “Prepare for war!” In other words, get everything ready for the battle. He said to wake up their mighty men of war, the military leadership, Generals, Captains, Sergeants, etc… and come. These “mighty men” are so smug in their faith in their false gods that they think they can defeat the one true God. Here’s there chance to try. It’s as though God were saying, “Ok, you think you are so big that you can defeat me? Meet me here at 8:00 PM and we’ll see who wins.”
“Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong…” tells me that even the farmers who oppose God in that day will be called to war. Old age, sickness, disability, gender will be no excuse. All mankind will be called to this final battle where satan and his followers will be overcome, just before satan is bound for the thousand years of the Millennium.
Man spends his life wanting peace, fighting wars, and avoiding the truth. Truth being, there will be no true peace on earth until God destroys Israel’s enemies in the Battle of Armageddon (Megiddo) and Jesus takes his rightful place in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. Then will this call be reversed and man will beat his swords into plowshares and his spears into pruning hooks. All the armament of war will be turned into instruments of peace. (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:2)
“Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD” (verse 11). “Assemble yourselves” is not a solemn assembly that we learned of in Joel 1:14, “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.” This is a call to the nations to gather for the judgment of God. The nations will be summoned from all four corners of the world and commanded to meet in Jehoshaphat (God has judged).
“Thy mighty ones” is translated to mean so many things. Some say it’s the Jews who serve the Lord. Some say it’s the church of the New Testament (I disagree with that one because Joel is written to and for the Jews), and some say it’s God’s army of angels. Personally, I lean toward it being the angels who fight for and defend Israel.
Note: God is calling each individual in the same way by His Holy Spirit. “Come,” He commands, “to the valley of decision and choose life or death, salvation or eternal damnation.” God is calling to the “dry bones” the “spiritually dead” of humanity to rise up and serve Him. Only through salvation in Christ can we be assured of a place in God’s kingdom.
“Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about” (verse 12). God is repeating His summons to the nations. He’s telling the nations to wake from their stupor and to come forth to the place where Jesus will judge them. I can almost hear God saying, “Wake up you nations who have caused my chosen ones such distress for these millennia. Come into the valley where Jesus will sit in judgment and will separate the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32)
What a day of rejoicing this will be for God’s faithful ones when, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3 16-18). Imagine that!? When we speak the name of God, when we praise him, when we speak to each other about his greatness, He writes it in a book!
“Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great” (verse 13). Here is why I believe that the “Mighty ones of God are the angels. When you read Revelation 14, you see the angels’ parts in the last of the last hours on earth of the unholy. “And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (Revelation 14:18, 19)
Like the wine press a winemaker would use, the press of sin in the earth is full. The destruction of the nations is like the wine press with the screw tightened down. With the wine press, the juice (blood) of the grape is squeezed out. In judgment, the blood of the nations will be spilled out so that it fills the valley to the horses’ bridles for one thousand and six hundred furlongs, or 184 miles, 4 ½ to 5 feet deep. Sad as this is, it should give us hope. Yes, God is holding back His vengeance right now, and many are suffering so that many others can come to the hope of salvation. But… when the vengeance of God begins, it will be completed quickly and totally. The “vats that overflow” from the much vile wickedness will done. Peace will finally come to the earth. Men of every tribe, tongue and nation will live in peace for one thousand years till Jesus lets satan loose, he has his last hurrah, and is permanently cast into the Lake of
One thing I want to emphasize here is that as the Jews return to Israel, housing and jobs become a problem. There are many hungry and homeless in Israel. Bless the Lord, He has raised up ministries whose primary function is to be clearing houses for Israel. We can support God’s people by sending monetary gifts to any of these ministries. Please check them out before you send anything though, to be sure they are legitimate ministries. One that I hear of often and I trust is the Joshua Fund Run by Joel Rosenberg.
Book of Joel
Chapter 3, Part 11
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14). “Multitudes” means hordes, scads, masses of people. A greater number than man can count; and they are noisy. In my mind’s eye, they appear as the locusts we read about in chapter 1. They completely cover the ground. They are always moving forward with noise. And they are all gathering there, in the “valley of decision” to bring final destruction to Israel. Little do they know, the destruction will be theirs.
This valley is the one Joel called Valley of Jehoshaphat in previous verses 2, 12. It’s the same place, the same mob and the same Lord is there to judge. Albert Barnes explains, “The valley is the same as that before called “the valley of Jehoshaphat;” but whereas that name only signifies “God judgeth,” this further name denotes the strictness of God’s judgment. The word signifies “cut,” then “decided;” then is used of severe punishment, or destruction decided and decreed, by God.”
Jesus the Christ, Son of God is Judge of all. “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him… And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:22-23). Jesus will come to Jerusalem, to Mount Zion, and He will sit in His office of Judge. II Timothy said, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom" (2 Tim. 4:1). He will appear and He will sit and watch the multitudes gather, and He will hear their blasphemies.
Prophet Jeremiah nailed it when he said, "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Jeremiah 17:10, 19).
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
And Apostle Mark agreed, “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23).
I quote Albert Barnes again, “Their gathering against God shall be a token of His coming to judge them. They come to fulfill their own ends; but His shall be fulfilled on them. They are left to bring about their own doom; and being abandoned by Him, rush on the more blindly because it is at hand. When their last sin is committed, their last defiance of God spoken or acted against Him, it is come.” “It is come” refers to their judgment. In today’s vernacular, we would say that Jesus gave them enough rope to hang themselves. It was NOT Jesus who led the nations to blaspheme God or defile the temple or malign Israel; it was Israel’s mortal enemy, satan, who led that movement.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:14-16).
All of us here tonight have walked in that valley of decision. We had the choice to make just as everyone else does. We were strongly convicted of our sin nature and the goodness of God and, because of if, we accepted Jesus as Savior. We will not face the “roaring Lion” when the nations gather. We will be the ones who come back with Jesus wearing our white robes of righteousness.
“The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining” (verse 15). Some people believe this verse means the glory of God will be so evident it will block out the light from the sun. I believe it is what it says. The sun, moon and stars will lose their light. It will be so dark day and night that the people will fear what Jesus will do next. I believe that this will not draw them to Him, but cause them to curse Him all the more. If they are in the “Valley of Decision” they have made their choice.
Jehoshaphat, Valley of Decision, or Armageddon, whichever you choose to call it, is not a place where people will choose to accept or reject the Christ. They have already made that choice. It will be the place where God’s decision is final and Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’… And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46)
“The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (verse 16). Strong’s #7580: To roar, especially to roar as a lion; to rumble or thunder.
The roaring is not against the remnant of Israel, but against the enemies of God. This is appropriate as Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. In all of Joel, the object was to spread fear so that people throughout the ages would read and come to Christ. Now we see that it really is to give comfort to Israel and all who are in Christ. Nations all over the world have hated Israel since God put His blessing on her. They have plundered her, tempted her into serving false gods, killed and made homeless God’s chosen people. Jews are still living all over the world, but God will call them home in that great day, and they will see His deliverance. Even heaven and earth will be part of God’s judgment. Instead of providing protection for the people of the nations who were warring against God, they will shake (earthquake) and fall. They will know that God alone is their refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
“So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion” (verses 17-21).
Israel will see Jesus on that wonderful day. They will know God is the Lord of all Israel as He sits on His throne in Zion; His holy mountain. That’s when Jerusalem will be delivered of all her foes. No one will ever stand against her again. Matthew Henry said, “The saints in the great day shall arrive at the desired haven, shall put to shore after a stormy voyage; they shall go to be forever at home with God, to their Father's house, the house not made with hands.”
“Then shall Jerusalem be holy.” She will be totally cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness. She will know and acknowledge that Jesus Christ indeed is Messiah Deliverer. No “stranger” (sinner) will be allowed in the New Jerusalem. Israel’s persecution will finally be over. She will live in peace forever.
Now we see the reverse of the devastation done by the locusts in chapter 1. There the locusts ate every bit of vegetation, every tree and vine and even the next year’s seed crop. Now God says he will restore Israel so completely that “that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters…” God will provide for Israel in abundance of all she needs for spirit, soul, and body to be healthy and refreshed daily.
Many churches forbid wine drinking now, or at least preach firmly against it. I don’t blame them in that even the Bible warns us not to be drunk with wine which is excess. Rather, we are to be filled with the water of the renewing of the Spirit. But in those days, men will drink wine provided by God and without abusing it. Never again will Israel suffer drought or loss of harvest or livestock.
Egypt and Edom is representative of the Middle East and all the nations. Jesus will judge the nations and God’s wrath will come upon them and they will become bleak and barren.
Israel, north and south, will live forever because God will cleanse their blood of the blood of Adam. The sinful nature of man will no longer exist. He will blot out their sin and remember it no more.