To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.(Deuteronomy 32:35-36)
We are at the last stanza of the song which God gave Moses to teach the children of Israel their entire future history, from the blessings of the promised land, through their apostasy and eventual expulsion from the Land and scattering throughout the earth, until the last days, when they shall be visited in mercy , saved and restored by the LORD.
This final stanza reveals that in that final time, God will take vengeance upon all of those Gentile nations among whom he had scattered his wayward flock. He will require of them the persecution, hatred, brutality and oppression that they had meted out to His chosen people, in the time of their long exile.The God of Israel shall have the last Word.
Their foot shall slide in due time…This is a reference to the plight of the World powers who had been able to lord it over the chosen people for the duration of the prophesied ” times of the Gentiles”. God has stored wrath up in his treasury to be revealed in the last times.
The metaphor of the “foot sliding” speaks of a sudden reversal of previous fortune and seemingly solid footing and advantage. The wicked assume they are on a sure footing, but in the “Day of Calamity” set by the Most High God, their supposedly solid footing gives way and they are revealed to be in a precarious and vulnerable position. Such shall it soon be with the “Kings of the Earth”.
For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.(Psalm 38:18)
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.(Psalm 73:2)
Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.( Psalm 94:17-18)
…for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
The nations of the world have an appointed “Day of Vengeance” , known only to God, in which their “cup of iniquity” is finally filled. Particularly sins against Israel are in view here; the international hatred and persecution against “the Seed of the woman”,(Christ), the Woman clothed in the sun, moon and stars (Israel), and the remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God and the testimony of JEsus Christ(The church). (See Revelation 12).
The day that hasteth, the day of their calamity, is also known as the “Time of tribulation”, something the World has never seen before nor shall it ever see again, in God’s mercy. We know the time is short because it has only been since 1948 that there has again been a national entity, Israel, in fulfilment of the prophetic Word about the Last Days.
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return , and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4-5)
For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left
When we are told that “the LORD Shall Judge His people…”, This is a reference to the judgment of vindication. The LORD shall set the matter straight, He will again own his people in the sight of all of the nations and personally identify with their cause. Joel tells us that in that day the LORD will once again treat the spilt blood of the men, women and children of Israel, as innocent blood that has been shed.
Young’s literal translation renders Joel 3:21 thusly;
And I have declared their blood innocent, [That] I did not declare innocent, And Jehovah is dwelling in Zion!
The nations of the World have blood on their hands, the blood of the nation which God scattered and judged but did not make a complete end of. The day of Vengeance is coming, especially for all of those nations which have nurtured a hatred of the chosen people,(which is really a hatred for God, the Bible and the Messiah).
But the intervention of the Most High will come at the point when Israel is in her most severe danger and vulnerability, a time when her enemies are almost literally smacking their lips in anticipation of consuming her entirely.
When the Lord shall see that they are without strength and bereft of friend and lover, surrounded, besieged and even nearly annihilated, His compassion for them shall be rekindled and He will come to them as their Deliverer.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. ( Zechariah 14:1-4)