JOEL 3:9


The Bible says in Joel 3:9-12, “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:[10] Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.[11] Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.[12] 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.” This passage of Scripture is talking about the last great battle of the human race that will occur at the very end of the age in which we live. Why will all of the nations of the world gather their armies together in Israel in the valley of Megiddo? The spiritual reason is that God directs all things simply by speaking. God spoke and the universe was created. It says in Genesis 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” This is our Father’s world. Whatever He wants to happen, will happen. When He opens a door, no one can shut the door. And when He closes a door, no one can open it. When Jesus calls for an assembly of the nations and their armies in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, they will assemble. As a a matter of fact, many of the current events are leading us to that day based upon the will of God. The call to salvation in Christ, people can resist. But no one will be able to resist the call to assemble in the great valley of war. It will be time for the holy God, the Judge of the whole earth, to bring the earth to its judgment. Do you want to know the future? Here is described one great even that is coming in the future as it says in Joel 3:12, “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.”


Notice Joel 3:10 that says, “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears.” This an important practical principle to remember for the end of the age in which we live and for the entire age in which we live. The truth is that tyrants tend to get in control of countries, to build up their armies, and then to attack other countries. If you are smart, then you will prepare for war, not to attack others, but to defend yourself when another country attacks you. Jesus described the current age in which we live, and Jesus said in Matthew 24:6, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Having good intentions will not change this truth. Doing a unilateral disarmament will not change this truth. War is hell, but there will be wars because of the evil that is in man’s heart. If you want to protect you family and your country, then you will prepare for war. You do not want to start a war: you want to be a peace-maker. But if someone else starts a war, then you want to be ready. As the word of God says in Joel 3:10, “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears.”  


The Bible says in Joel 3:11-13, “Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.[12] 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.[13] 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.” The Judgment is coming. You can be sure of that. Every time you see a field of grain, it can remind you that the judgment is coming, because every day that field is closer to the time of harvest. There will be a time of harvest for the whole earth. Of course, the same metaphor about a final harvest is used elsewhere in the Bible. John the Baptist said about Jesus in Luke 3:17, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” It says in Revelation 14:15-20, “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.[16] And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.[17] And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” The judgment of God is coming. When the time is right and when the harvest is ready, the time of reaping will be here. God knows when that time is and we do not. One of the reasons that we are told to shoe the love of Christ to people is because their future is terrible unless they turn to Jesus for mercy and salvation before it is too late.


Joel 3:14 is a very interesting verse because it describes what takes place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat once all the nations of the world are gathered there. It says, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” What happens just before the Battle of Armageddon starts? Everyone there is given one more chance to turn to Jesus. It shows how compassionate and merciful God is. Until you get saved, if you do get saved, this life is all about the chances that God gives to you to turn to Jesus and find forgiveness. In the Valley of Jehoshaphat at the Battle of Armageddon, the good Lord gives everyone who is assembled there one more chance. That is why He calls it “the valley of decision.” God gives many people one last chance even on their deathbed. I do believe that deathbed conversions are possible because it is just like the merciful Lord to give people one last chance to make a decision to turn to Him. That is what happened to one of the thieves who was crucified with Jesus. It says in Luke 23:32-43, “And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.[33] And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.[34] Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.[35] And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.[36] And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,[37] And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.[38] And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.[39] And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.[40] But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?[41] And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.[42] And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.[43] And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”


The Bible says in Joel 3:15-21, “The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.[21] For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.”  These verses remind us one last time that two things will get accomplished at the Battle of Armageddon and the judgment that follows: 1. Those who have made themselves enemies of God will be judged. 2. Those whom God knows as His children will be saved.


What is God’s great motivation that explains why He will bring the final judgment on this world? Notice that in Joel 3:17 God calls Jerusalem “my holy mountain” and that it says in Joel 3:17, “then shall Jerusalem be holy.” God is holy: very, very holy. We cannot conceive of how holy He is. When Isaiah had a view of heaven, he wrote in Isaiah 6:1-3, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.[2] Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.[3] And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Consider the holiness of God alongside the sinfulness of man, and we see that there is a problem. The Bible says in Mark 10:18, “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” It says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” It says in Ephesians 5:5, ‘’For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” The concept of being unclean comes from the Old Testament law where many actions were forbidden for the reasons that the person who did them would end up being “unclean,” such as the touching of a dead animal. For example, it says in Leviticus 5:2, “Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty;” and in Haggai 2:13-14, “Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.[14] Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.” The way to become clean is to turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.  


One of the reasons that there is a hell is because God is holy.  Nothing unholy or unclean or sinful can enter into heaven. One of the reasons that believers have eternal security is because Jesus accounts His holiness and righteousness to the credit of a believer. That is the only way that we can become holy in our standing before God. Only those who are holy can enter heaven. But everyone who believes in Jesus is holy because of this great truth of imputed righteousness. It says in Romans 4:6-8, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,[7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.[8] Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”             



Copyright; 2014 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved