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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Joel 3

 

 

Introduction

Saved Out Of Troubles

-- Joel Three --

Not only would God bring His judgment upon Israel and Judah but the nations or Gentiles would also be judged. God promised to restore Judah and to bring those nations into the valley of Jehoshphat for judgment. The valley of Jehoshphat was "Judgment Valley." God was concerned about the restoration of His land and His people.

The people of God had been scattered among the nations. There they had been mistreated in a horrible way. They had "given a boy for a harlot and sold a girl for wine." (Joel 3:3) Now these nations will bear the consequences of their wicked treatment of God"s people. They had plundered and destroyed the land and had sold God"s people as slaves. The nations would now reap what they had sown against the people of God. God"s unchangeable law says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7) The nations will now reap the result of their past sowing.

The nations would become enslaved, but God would save His people out of trouble. God would save Judah from captivity, return them to their land and allow them to dwell in rest and peace. True rest and peace comes to those that serve the Prince of peace. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)


Verses 1-5

The valley of Jehoshaphat -- Joel 3:1-5 : God promised that at the end of the captivity that He would make Judah and Jerusalem prosperous again. Judah was the name that identified the two tribe Southern Kingdom and Jerusalem was its capital city. They were the last of the Jews to go into captivity and now it was time for God to bring them out. God will bring His people out of captivity and He will also bring the nations that scatter His people into the Valley of Judgment or the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Those that oppressed God"s people would now face their own judgment.

God"s people were treated horribly by these nations. They cast lots or gambled to see who would get God"s people. The people of Judah were treated as mere personal property by these godless people. They would sell a boy or a girl to pay for their prostitute and wine. Tyre and Sidon were two cities that had a part in mistreating God"s people. God told them that even if they thought they could make matters right with some temporal gift they were very wrong. He said their worthless sacrifices would be rejected. It is bad enough to steal from other people but the nations had stolen the precious things from God"s land and God"s Temple and used them in idolatrous worship. Now they face the consequences of their sins.


Verses 6-11

Recompense upon the nations -- Joel 3:6-11 : These nations kidnapped the young people of Jerusalem from their land and sold them as slaves to the Greeks. God promised that He would now grant freedom to His enslaved people. They would be allowed to come home. Judgment would be sent upon the nations that had mistreated God"s people. What they had done to the Jews would now be done to them. Their sons and daughters would be taken away and sold as slaves to the Sabeans. These were people that lived far away.

As he did in chapter two the prophet Joel returned to the idea of a spiritual return to God during the gospel age. Even though the destruction to the nations was a physical one the only hope of the nations and of the Jews is the gospel of Christ. The nations were to prepare for a war against God that they were sure to loose. He told them to make swords out of their plows and spears out of garden tools. These nations would soon learn human weakness without God and His blessings to help. The nations are invited to come and partake of the blessing of the Lord through the gospel. They had to know that "the Lord shall bring down" the mighty.


Verses 12-17

The Lord shall roar out of Zion -- Joel 3:12-17 : These people are brought to Judgment Valley or the Valley of Jehoshaphat where the Lord will judge the nations. The only hope the nations had of avoiding sever judgments was to be gathered by the gospel. These people were to be gathered like ripe grapes from a world of wickedness. The gathering would be accomplished by divine truth. The sinful of all nations are called upon to submit to God. "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. Will we or will we not submit to God"s will?

The pictures of the changes in the heavenly bodies identify these events with the church. (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20) "From the heart of Jerusalem the LORD roars like a lion, shaking the earth and sky. But the LORD is a fortress, a place of safety for his people Israel." (Joel 3:16) With a strong and reassuring voice God announces salvation in Christ. The hope of the world is not in some earthly king. Our hope is in God"s unshakable kingdom. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Hebrews 12:28) Christians are citizens of God"s spiritual kingdom. This kingdom will not be destroyed. "There shall no strangers pass through her any more." Of Christians it can be said, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." (Ephesians 2:19)


Verses 18-21

Enemy nations face punishment -- Joel 3:18-21 : In Joel three verse eighteen we see figures of (1) fruitful vineyards, (2) cattle and goats tat graze on the hills and produce a lot of milk, and (3) streams in Judah that will never run dry. These are actually pictures of spiritual blessings that are ours through the Christ and His kingdom. Those that serve God will be blessed. The nations that persecuted God"s people like Egypt and Edom will now become a barren desert. They would feel God"s wrath because of the mistreatment of God"s people and the destruction of His land.

Judah or spiritual Israel will dwell forever. When Daniel predicted the coming of the kingdom of Christ he said it would stand forever. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44) The Lord cleansed fleshly Israel of idolatry with the punishment. Those in Christ are cleansed by blood. Those in spiritual Israel have remission of sins. It is a most wonderful thing when a person can be innocent and have God's forgiveness and His defense!

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Joel 3:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/joel-3.html. 2014.

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