Saturday, July 03, 2021

2021.07.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joel 3:1–8

Read Joel 3:1–8

Questions from the Scripture text: What days and time is Joel 3:1 talking about? Whom else will the Lord also gather(Joel 3:2)? Where will He bring them? For what will He judge them? What will all nations have done (Joel 3:2-3)? Whom does He address in Joel 3:4? Whom did they think they were repaying? But what were they doing instead? Upon whose head will their intentions fall? From Whom? How fast? Whom have they ultimately attacked (Joel 3:5)? What else have they done to whom (Joel 3:6)? What will Yahweh do for the people of Judah and Jerusalem (Joel 3:7a–b)? But what will He do to those who sold them (Joel 3:7c –Joel 3:8)? What makes this sure and final (verse 8e)?

We’ve seen several layers to the day of the Lord in Joel. The locusts were a day of the Lord for judgment. The repentance and restoration were a day of the Lord. The cross was a great day of the Lord with signs in heaven and earth. Pentecost initiated a great day of the Lord: the age of the Spirit, the Bible, the gospel, and the church.

But there is one that is yet to come, even for us. The great day of judgment, with all the nations gathered up. What will that judgment be like?

It will be a confrontation with the Lord Himself. On that day, all will be judged for what they have done with the Lord—and, by extension, with His people. When He says “I will enter into judgment with them,” He is not only taking the position of the judge but also of the accusing prosecutor and the aggrieved plaintiff. 

This is the great wickedness of sin, that it is against God. “My” people. “My” heritage. “My” land. “My” people. What have you to do with “Me”? Will you repay “Me”? But if you repay “Me.” “My” silver. “My” gold. “My” prized possessions. Sin is all about what we have done to God. This is what Paul discovered in his conversion, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me.” This is why he knew himself to be the chief of sinners.

The day of judgment is a day in which every person from every nation discovers himself to be the chief of sinners, for all of his sin is personally against the glorious, holy Yahweh. On that day, when the man stands before Jesus, he will realize that all of his sin has been against this glorious God-Man.

It will be a confrontation with irremediable guilt. The word translated ‘retaliate’ in Joel 3:4-5 has a basic meaning of “repay.” The problem that is being exposed is that these nations actually think there might be some way they could pay back Yahweh. They have zero appreciation of the greatness of their guilt. They have zero appreciation of the impossibility of them doing anything good. Whatever they do will just incur more guilt; “swiftly and speedily I will return your repayment upon your own head.”

It will be confrontation with exactly appropriate punishment. In this particular case, for these particular sins of selling His people (Joel 3:2-3Joel 3:6-7), the punishment will be exactly corresponding (Joel 3:8). But this is not the only sin. And it is not the greatest part of their sin. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. They have pushed down upon the knowledge of His glory, refusing to worship Him or give thanks. And their punishment will be equal to the glory of that God Whom they have despised. In fact, the fiery and everlasting destruction will come upon them from that glory itself (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:5–10).

What will that day be like for you? We are now in that day of Yahweh in which “everyone who calls upon the name of Yahweh will be saved.” Have you given up the idea of atoning for your own sin? Have you recognized that Jesus is Yahweh? Have you called upon that God before Whom you will stand to be Your Savior? The One Who has offered an atonement as great as the glory of God!

What will come of you in the last great day of Yahweh, if you do not receive the gift of repentance now? How have you sought it from Him?

Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song” or TPH389 “Great God What Do I See and Hear”

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