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.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. (Joel 3:1-3)
Joel, the Biblical prophet, who ministered between 835-800 BC, prophesied with amazing clarity Geo-Political events that are occurring right before our very eyes.
To demonstrate this, allow me to ‘unpack’ Joel chapter three.
*The Time of fulfillment “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…”. This prophecy is slated for the time when God would bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, that is it is going to be fulfilled post 1948.
* I will also gather all nations…The literal possibility for this aspect of the prophecy is only recent, for at no other time in human history has there been even a possibility for the “gathering of all nations” since the Tower of Babylon judgment.
All nations have indeed been assembled into a congress, the United nations which arose, like Israel, out of the aftermath of World War 2 in the late 1940’s. As psalm 2 predicts,
“the kings of the earth and their rulers take counsel together against the LORD and His Christ”.
* Valley of Jehoshaphat– “… and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat… “. The point is not that there is or isn’t an actual geographical valley of Jehoshaphat, the point is that the name Jehoshaphat is part of the prophesy. It means “Jahweh shall Judge”, ie God shall judge the nations of the earth.
It could also be a reminder of the story of the seige of Juda in the days of King Jehoshaphat, in which after repentance and a national day of prayer and fasting, the instruction was given not to fear the combined gentile armies of Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites.
This is the battle where Judah, at God’s command, marched the Priests out front of the army, with instruments instead of weapons, and Praising the goodness of the Lord ! the enemy turned upon itself and was routed.
* “…and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel…” This is not a prediction that God will ask the nations to go easy on Israel. This is legal language, God is going to slap a lawsuit upon the Nations, he is serving an indictment, for this is the court of Divine justice!
The indictment has four counts, 1) they scattered God’s people, 2) they parted God’s land, 3)they cast lots for God’s people, 4) they sold out the children of Israel, for the hire of a harlot, and for wine.
* The first indictmentMy people, whom they have scattered among the nations- The Nations of the world indeed scattered the children of Israel, thoroughly across the world, it is not unusual even to this day to find a tribe in remote China, India, or even black Africa, who keep kosher, and observe other practices of the Jews, though cut off for centuries from the rest of the world.
But one could argue that this was exactly what God told Israel would happen, should they prove faithless.
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.(Leviticus 26:33)
So why is there an indictment on the nations of the world for doing exactly what God said they would do? We have to turn to Zechariah for the answer ,
And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.(Zechariah 1:15)
God is bringing suit against the nations because though He used them to scatter the children of Israel, and to afflict them, they have taken it further than He wanted.
The nations were “at ease” when holocausts and pogroms were occurring, it didn’t bother them. Hitler was offering shiploads of German Jews to any nation that would shelter them, but there were no takers.He then knew that his ‘final solution’ was possible to undertake without international interference.
All through the 1940’s into the 1990’s the word of the nations to Israel, in the midst of intifada and terror campaigns was “don’t rock the boat” and inflame the Arabs, give them “land for peace”so that oil prices would be stable.
The nations could overlook the Palestinian bombing and murder campaigns, the slaughter of children, women, Olympic athletes, etc., for they themselves were ‘at ease’. This is what is bringing upon the world the final judgment.
The other indictments will be discussed next…