In the picture above which words describe a positive judgment?

Which words describe a negative judgment?

When you read or hear the word judgment what is your immediate emotional response to the word?

When have you used good judgment?

When have you used poor judgment?

When have you exercised judgment about another person?

How do you make a judgment about a person or an event?

What resources do you rely on to aid your judgment?

ESV  Joel 3:2 I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land.

Remember the book of Joel is a message from the Lord through the prophet Joel initially to the Judean community and now to us today.

The book describes a horrible decimation of the Judean agricultural landscape placing them in serious jeopardy that the Lord then promises to restore to them after they have returned wholeheartedly into worshipful relationship with Him.

The term Israel in Joel 3:2 is a reminder of the Judean’s ethnic heritage from Jacob, who was renamed Israel by the Lord. (See Genesis 32:28.)

What is the Lord promising to do?

At this point in the book of Joel the Lord has already promised abundant restoration materially and spiritually to the Judeans/Israelites/all who believe and worship Him.

Now that the relationship between the Lord and His worshippers is repaired, He turns His attention toward those who have harmed His people or His land.

Any nation that has scattered His people or divided up His land will be gathered for judgment by the Lord.

This is not a positive judgment. Scripture makes it clear that He will enter into judgment against those who have opposed, attacked, or harmed in any way His people and His land.

Where will the Lord’s judgment occur?

We are told the Lord will judge in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

The name of this valley is meant as a pun given the meaning of Jehoshaphat is “the Lord judges”.

It is also symbolic in that Jehoshaphat is an Old Testament King who was being threatened by foreign nations, gathered the community at the temple, prayed gave praise to the Lord before going into battle. The Lord blessed Jehoshaphat and the Judeans/Israelites with victory because of Jehoshaphat and the Judean’s faithfulness and reliance on Him at that time. (See 2 Chr 20:5-26.)

Does the image of a vengeful Lord disturb you?

Have you ever felt the Lord was simply waiting for you to mess up so He could punish you?

Or perhaps you know people who feel that judgment is the only character trait that the Lord has?

Yes, there are difficult judgment passages we encounter in the pages of the Bible.

But remember, here in Joel and elsewhere in the Bible, the Lord is doing everything He can to get the attention of humanity.

Why does the Lord want our attention?

The Lord’s desire for our attention is so that He may have fellowship with us.

The Lord’s desire for our attention is so that He may bless us.

The Lord’s desire for our attention is so that He may protect and defend us.

ESV  Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Remember the Lord created everything.

ESV  2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Remember the Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish.

ESV  Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.

32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 

The Lord desires to bring positive judgment on His servants.

May we be worthy of such a blessed judgment.


Barbara Lynn

Share this with others:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *