The Lord Redeems
Joel 3:16,17 – But the Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.“
The theme throughout Joel is ‘The Day of the LORD’ and there are four distinct messages for what that day will bring, namely – Destruction, Restoration, Judgement, Redemption.
The destruction we see laid out in chapter 1 and the restoration in chapter 2. Chapter 3 opens with the judgement of the nations which will take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which can literally be translated as the valley of Yahweh’s judgement. All nations will eventually have to stand before the Lord.
“For behold, in those days and at that time, I will gather all the nations, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel… For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
There is redemption from the destruction because of the Lord’s pity for his people on hearing their cry for mercy – “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord.”
There is redemption from the judgement as the Lord pours down his abundant rain for the vindication of his people and pours out his Spirit as a sign among the nations – “Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes…it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Each one of us, at some stage in our life, will enter the valley of decision and what the future holds will depend on whether we choose to call on the name of the Lord.