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Joel 3:1-21 – The Glorious Future

Most of chapter 3 is about God judging the nations. God says that he will gather all nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This is not actually a geographical place. The name ‘Jehoshaphat’ means ‘Yahweh judges’ cross reference with verse 14 ‘the valley of God’s decision’. God’s judging the nations means God saving his people – two sides of the same coin.

God’s judicial decisions are always just e.g. while God’s people who were landed-farmers were sold to the sea-peoples – the sea-peoples will be sold to the desert-dwellers.

The result of all of this is that the LORD will be their God and dwell among them. Associated with this is the land will again become like Eden (as it was before the locusts turned it into a wilderness). The Eden-like nature of the land is described as the mountains shall drip sweet wine and water flowing from the house of the LORD (a little bit like how water flowed from Eden to water the earth). The language is symbolic. Wine is a symbol of joy. To have mountains dripping with wine would be to have an abundance of joy. One recalls the huge volumes of water Jesus turned into wine which indicated that Jesus is the wine-giver joy-giver.

In Joel water is life. The fact that the water flows from the temple means life comes from God. This stands in contrast with how Egypt and Edom are a dry wilderness without water i.e. face death. The New Testament utilizes this image by having life-giving water as coming from Jesus.

The glorious future is Eden-restored – a place of an abundance of joyful wine and life-giving water. What the locusts took away by God’s judgment at Israel’s sin is restored to those who in repentance and faith call on the LORD.