Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Israel In The Day Of Judgment

Joel 2:21-3:21

“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.  Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.” (Joel 2:21-27)

God has stated that if they will turn back to Him, He will take pity on Judah, and provide their needs.   Even the wild animals will have enough to eat because the crops will again grow.  As they showed their appreciation for his blessings, he would increase those blessings with the result the crops would be abundant.  Ultimately they would recover everything they had lost over the years, as they learned to be thankful.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (Joel 2:28-32)

As they turn more to God, he will pour out his Spirit upon them, enabling them to speak God’s word and experience his guidance, being filled with the Holy Spirit.  At the same time God would do miraculous things in the natural world, just before God’s judgment comes on the earth.  Peter described the events on the day of Pentecost as a partial fulfilment of this prophecy in Acts 2:16-21.  Today, every believer has that same opportunity to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be guided by him. The last part, about the signs in the heavens and the earth, with the sun turned to darkness and the moon to blood just before God’s judgment is described in Revelation 6:12-17. 

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 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.” (Joel 3:1-2)

In that day of Judgment, God will free Jerusalem and Judah, destroying the world powers that are arrayed against them in the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Revelation 14:18-20, and Revelation 19:11-21 describe this time of Judgment. 

“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.  Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? 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. “ (Joel 3:3-6)

The Phoenician traders of Tyre and Sidon had sold thousands of Jewish children as slaves around the Mediterranean Sea, buying them from the Philistines and selling them to the Greeks, often for little more than the services of a prostitute or a bottle of wine.   Even if they were to try to make payment, there is nothing that would make up for what they had done, and God would not accept such an attempt. 

“Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense 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 cause his people to come back together from all the lands where they have been scattered.  The people who have hated them will receive the same treatment they have given God’s people,  with their own children being sold into the slavery to the Sabeans.   The Sabeans refer to the people of Saba or Sheba. 

“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.  Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 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.  Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. ” (Joel 3:9-14)

In that day there will be a huge military buildup with even the agricultural tools being turned into weapons.  There will be a united force of all the nations of the world to attack Israel and Christ.  They will come into the valley of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon. , and as Revelation 14 describes it, the Lord will destroy them like grapes in a winepress. 

“The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  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.  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.” (Joel 3:15-17)

All the miracles described in Revelation will come to pass, and Christ will set up his earthly kingdom for a thousand years.  The people who come to Jerusalem in that time will come to worship God, not to try to take over or make a profit. 

“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 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.” (Joel 3:18-21)

Even the least productive land will produce abundant crops and feed vast herds of cattle.  The rivers will flow year around, and the valley around the dead sea will be filled with water, opening into the Red Sea.  The lands that have been most opposed to Israel will be uninhabited. But Judah and Jerusalem will be blessed forever.  Even the genetic diseases will be cleansed forever.  

No comments:

Post a Comment