God’s judgment on Israel’s enemies
In Genesis 12 we read that God says to Abraham:
Genesis 12:2-3 NASB
²And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
³And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
And in Joel 3 we read that God will deal with the Gentiles and destroy them for what they have done to his people. They took it from His country and raffled the Judean prisoners and sold them as merchandise.
Joel 3: 1-3
¹For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
²I will gather ALL the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.
³They have also cast lots for My people,
Traded a boy for a harlot
And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.
Therefore ALL nations will go to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
The name of this valley has nothing to do with the Judean king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20), but is purely symbolic.
Let the nations be aroused
And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to judge
All the surrounding nations.
Jehoshaphat means “YHWH has judged”.
The valley of Jehoshaphat is a symbolical name of a valley near Jerusalem which is the place of ultimate judgment; maybe it is the deep ravine which separates Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives through which the little river Kidron flowed from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.
Tire, Sidon, and the Philistines had done great wrong to Judah.
They would get their portion back
⁴Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tire, Sidon
and all the regions of Philistia?
Are you rendering Me a recompense?
But if you do recompense Me,
swiftly and speedily
I will return your recompense on your head.
⁵Since you have taken My silver and My gold,
brought My precious treasures to your temples,
⁶and sold the sons of Judah
and Jerusalem to the Greeks
in order to remove them far from their territory,
⁷behold, I am going to arouse them
from the place where you have sold them,
and return your recompense on your head.
They had stolen the temple treasures.
They had also sold the Judeans to the Ionians, which are the Greeks.
The Greeks liked to buy Jewish slaves.
But God Himself will reward them (Compare Psalms 7:17: Obadiah :15).
The children of Tire, Sidon and Philistea will now be sold to the Sabees, a trading people in far South Arabia
Also I will sell your sons and your daughters
into the hand of the sons of Judah,
and they will sell them to the Sabeans,
to a distant nation, for the Lord has spoken.
The Lord calls the nations to the final battle. The judgment is ripe (Joel 3:9-13; Compare Matthew 13:36-43). The grapes must be trod. They used to have two wine boxes. The grapes were in the first container. The grape trunders went in there to flatten the grapes. The second container had to collect the juice. God’s judgment threatens the nations.
Joel 3: 14-16
¹⁴Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
¹⁵The sun and moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness.
¹⁶The 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.
But God’s people can take shelter with Him and will be safe.
While drought, which often looks barren, will become a pleasure place
And in that day
The mountains will drip with sweet wine,
And the hills will flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water;
And a spring will go out from the house of the Lord
To water the valley of Shittim.
Egypt will become a wasteland.
Edom will suffer the same fate.
Because of what they both did to the innocent Judeans
Egypt will become a waste,
And Edom will become a desolate wilderness,
Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah,
In whose land they have shed innocent blood.
But God’s people continue to share in God’s blessing, in the Messianic age of salvation
²⁰But Judah will be inhabited forever
And Jerusalem for all generations.
²¹And I will avenge their blood
which I have not avenged,
For the Lord dwells in Zion.
God’s judgment will one day come upon the nations that touch Israel, the apple of its eye (Deuteronomy. 32:9, 10).
How is your attitude towards His people?
- Ask God to give you a lot of love and compassion for His people.
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