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 saw the Day of the LORD, in it’s final manifestation, in a vision that looks stunningly like our day.
In the Vision the LORD calls all of the nations of the earth, down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, (“God Shall Judge”) in order to “plead” with them there, (to plead means to lodge a legal complaint, an indictment). The God of the Bible is going to slap a lawsuit on the Nations of the World!
The Indictment has four counts- and all of them concern the mistreatment of God’s chosen people, Israel.
- They have scattered my people-
- They have Parted my Land-
- They have cast lots for my people-
- They have sold boys and girls for a harlot-
In this lesson we shall discuss the first indictment, that the Nations of the World have “scattered God’s people”, and will be brought to account for this sin.
I have long realized that certain Nations have indeed scattered God’s people, the Jews across the World. The Assyrians certainly carried ten of the twelve tribes away into captivity and scattered them through out the near east and even into Asia.
We all know that the Babylonians took the tribe of Judah captive, and carried them away to Babylon, where they remained for seventy years. When it was time to return, only a trickle came back to the Holy land.
The Romans certainly, and thoroughly scattered the Jews across the earth, in 70 AD and Again in 120 AD, after a series of Jewish revolts. Like the Babylonians the Romans destroyed the Temple, razing it to the ground, killed almost a million Jews and then literally glutted the world’s slave markets with Jewish slaves.
The Gentiles definitely scattered the Jews so thoroughly that only now , recently, tribes of people in India, China, and central Africa as well as throughout the Arab world, are being found, who kept Sabbath, wouldn’t eat Pork and maintained other customs foreign to their surroundings. upon DNA examinations, they have been found to be Jews!
Throughout Europe, the Ukraine, the Balkans and Russia, Jewish communities would scrape together a life, prosper a little and then they would be dashed by Pograms, expulsions and persecutions.
You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord drives you. (Deuteronomy 28:37)
“But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ (I Knings 9:6-9)
Moses and Solomon among others warned Israel that she would be a “By-Word” for all of the nations to take note of, if Israel were to turn away from God.The “wandering Jew” has been a phenomenon that dates back centuries, and in this way, the “scattering” of Israel has continued throughout the long two thousand year night of Exile. Indeed the Gentiles are guilty of scattering the Jews.
But what about now in our modern world? Have we been complicit also in the scattering of Israel? I can point to two prominent examples, that of America and of the United Kingdom.
America has always been a very open and friendly nation towards Israel, it is true, but during World War 2 we participated in a very disappointing incident, the Voyage of the St Louis, ; from the Holocaust Encyclopedia,
In May 1939, the German liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba, carrying 937 passengers, almost all Jewish refugees. The Cuban government refused to allow the ship to land, and the United States and Canada were unwilling to admit the passengers. The St. Louis passengers were finally permitted to land in western European countries rather than return to Nazi Germany. 254 St. Louis passengers were killed in the Holocaust.
- After the St. Louis arrived in Havana, the passengers learned that the Cuban government had canceled their landing permits. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) negotiated with Cuba on behalf of the passengers, but the negotiations failed and the Cuban government forced the ship to leave the harbor.Although the ship sailed near the Florida coast, the US government did not allow the passengers to land, since they did not have US immigration visas and had not passed a security screening. American newspapers publicized the saga and many Americans sympathized with the passengers.
Another example of US complicity of scattering God’s people, was in the 2005 expulsion of Jews from the Gaza, due to a “Land for Peace” deal brokered by George W Bush and Ariel Sharon. Thousands of Jews in Gaza, (Which is land God had given to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob and their seed forever), were forced out of their homes, so that the Muslims could create a terror state, an enclave which is used to shower rockets on Israel to this day.
That same week, the Presidency of George W Bush was destroyed by the Hurricane Katrina which expelled ten times as many residents of the Gulf coast in America out of their flood ruined homes, as of those Jews who had been forced out by Bush and Sharon. Shortly afterwards Sharon, a war hero and national leader, had a stroke which put him into a comatose state until He died 8 years later.
God has a foreign policy, “I will bless those who bless you ( Israel) and curse those who curse you…”.
The United Kingdom was given custody of the Land God gave to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, after having wrested it from the Turks in World War 1.
But to appease the restive Arabs, the British adapted antiJewish policies. For example, the UK wouldn’t admit much more than a trickle of Jewish refugees fleeing to “Palestine” * during the Holocaust. The a ship full of Holocaust survivors from Europe, called the “Exodus” tried to disembark immediately after the Second World War, The Royal Navy Rammed it with one of her frigates, and British commandos boarded, commandeered the ship and hauled it back to Europe, where the Holocaust survivors were forced to refugee camps, in Germany of all places!
The God of Israel has seen all of this and much, much more. He has taken names and is preparing a suit, the nations will be summonsed to Judgment on the basis of what they did to God’s people, in the time of indignation. Not one nation will escape the Judgment which is coming, as seen by Joel.