The day of the Lord Pt. 2: The Valley of Decision

The Day of the Lord Pt 2:  The Time of Decision

Joel 3:9-21

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”

 

            The Day of the Lord culminates in the final judgment of humanity.  In verse 14, the Day of the Lord is referred to as the “valley of decision.”  However, this is not the decision of man to accept or reject God; instead, this is the decision of the Lord regarding people's judgment. Christ predicts this coming judgment upon all humanity in Matthew 24-25, in which Christ returns and will judge all people and nations (see also Revelation 20:11-14).  This judgment will be a time when Christ pronounces his verdict.  He is the judge now making the decision.  For those who rejected God’s salvation, it will be a time of terror as the “Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble.”  

            However, on this day of judgment, there is also rejoicing.  For those who reject God, this day will be one in which God will be their judge and prosecutor.  Yet for those who by faith accepted him and placed their complete trust in him, God will be their advocate and redeemer.  Instead of a judge who incites terror, he will be. Refuge and a stronghold. It speaks of a place where one finds protection from any danger or threat. It is where one goes when fear strikes, and the fears are abated because the threat is no longer present.  This is further highlighted in the following phrase that God is a stronghold for his people.  This has the picture of a sternly fortified defensive or military structure unassailable by the enemy.  No matter how many enemies may encircle them, they are secure because they are in a fortress that no one can overcome.  This is an apt picture of God. Our security is not found in the things of this world but in the person of God. The point is that the person who has placed their trust in God has nothing to fear when God’s judgment is poured out, for God not only will not judge them, but he becomes their protector so that nothing can harm them.

            Billy Graham, for many years, had a radio program entitled “hour of decision” in which he confronted people with the necessity of making a decision.  The hour of our decision determines our destiny in the valley of decision.  How we respond to God today will decide whether or not he is our judge or protector, our terror or our comfort, our hope or our fear.  Today we are confronted with either embracing God and accepting his salvation and living by his word or rejecting him and pursuing headlong after our desires and will.  This decision today will determine the Lord’s judgment on that final day.  The offer of his salvation involves a simple expression of faith that we ask God to forgive our sins and surrender our will to his.  What will we decide today?

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