Proclaim This Among The Nations:
Prepare for War!
"In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I will enter into judgment against them
concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
for they scattered my people among the nations
and divided up my land.
They cast lots for my people
and traded boys for prostitutes;
they sold girls for wine that they might drink.
"Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.
"See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away." The Lord has spoken.
Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
Beat your plowshares into swords
and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
"I am strong!"
Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
and assemble there.
"Let the nations be roused;
let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. *
Come, trample the grapes,
for the winepress is full
and the vats overflow--
so great is their wickedness!"
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will be darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
The Lord will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem;
the earth and the sky will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Blessings for God's People
"Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,
dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy;
never again will foreigners invade her.
"In that day the mountains will drip new wine,
and the hills will flow with milk;
all the ravines of Judah will run with water.
A fountain will flow out of the Lord's house
and will water the valley of acacias.
But Egypt will be desolate,
Edom a desert waste,
because of violence done to the people of Judah,
in whose land they shed innocent blood.
Judah will be inhabited forever
and Jerusalem through all generations.
Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned,
I will pardon."
The LORD dwells in ZION!
Life Application Bible Study Notes
Joel describes multiudes waiting in the "valley of decision" (the valley of judgment of verses 2 and 12). Billions of people have lived on earth and every one of them--dead, living and yet to be born--will faced judgment. Look around you. See your friends, those who you work and live. Have they received God's forgivness? Have they been warned about sin's consequences? If we understand the severity of God's final judgment, we will want to take God's offer of hope to those we know.
The last word will be God's; his ultimate sovereignty will be revealed in the end. We cannot predict when the end will come but we can have confidence in his control over the world's events. The world's history, as well as our own pilgrimage, is in God's hands. We can be secured in his LOVE and trust him to guide our decisions.
The picture of this restored land is one of perfect beauty similar to the Garden of Eden. The life-giving flountain flowing from the Lord's house illustrates the blessings that come from God. Those who attach themselves to him will be forever fruitful (See also Ezekiel 47: 1-12; Revelation 22:1,2)
Egypt and Edom were two of Israel's most persistent enemies. They represented all the nations hostile to God's people. God's promise that they would be destroyed is also a promise that all evil in the world will one day be destroyed.
The word Judah is used here to refer to all God's people--anyone who has called on the name of the Lord. There is full assurance of victory and peace for those who trust in God. Joel begins his prophecy about the destruction of the land and ended it with a prophecy about its restoration. He begain by stressing the need for repentance and ended with the promise of forgivness that repentance brings. Joel was trying to convince the people to wake up (1:5), get rid of their complacency, and realize the danger of living apart from God. His message to us is that there is still time, anyone who calls on God's name can be saved (2:12-14; 32). Those who turn to God will enjoy the blessings mentioned in Joel's prophecy, those who refuse will face destruction.
New Testament Scripture
The Time Is Near
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it know by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw---that is, the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Rev 1:1-3)
After the Fall of Babylon the GREAT
Take your sickle and reap,
because the TIME to reap has come,
for the harvest of the Earth is ripe
Rev 14: 6-20
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand
Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe."
The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (Rev 14: 6-20)