Verse 8 ends with the words, "For the LORD hath spoken it." The
verdict has been established. Nobody will be able to alter it, the
LORD has spoken, and His word is a word of might and power that
stands into eternity and has an eternal reach.
And so, we read Joel 3:9-11a, "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles;
Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw
near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your
pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble
yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together
round about."
We read in these verses again the movement of the Gentile nations
with their mighty armies. Just as we have read in verses 1 through 8,
but now this movement is described from the other side. In the
previous eight verses, we heard that the LORD will gather all nations,
lead them to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and repay them for their
wrongdoings and sins. In verses 9-11a, we read that the Gentile
nations move up in great enmity. But notice that an imperative is
used up to seven times. Ultimately, God is the one who is pulling the
strings right through the raging of the enemies. The enemies, acting
out of pride and in their own strength, while not realizing it, are
moving up to be judged. The Gentiles walk into the LORD's hands
like this! The enemies are raised up to act exactly the opposite way
that will happen in the kingdom of peace. There the swords will be
beaten into plowshares; here, the plowshares will be made into
It is a comfort to know that this world is just an instrument in God's
hand. We read the same thing in Isaiah 10:15 about the Assyrians.
The LORD says there, "Shall the axe boast itself against him that
heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that
shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up,
or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood." It is the
LORD who is in control. The world and Satan seem mighty, but the
Lord is above them. We know how Christ is in control. He received
(Revelation 5:7) the book out of God's right hand. He, the Lamb of
God, the Mediator, the Suffering Servant, is leading world history.
But the prophet Joel, hearing these words, is in great distress and
cries out in Joel 3:11b, "Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down,
O LORD." In other words, "Send Your army of angels Lord!" So, the
church militant cries out in distress, come to our help! But, even in
heaven, the church triumphant cries out for. We read in Revelation
6:9-11 that the souls under the altar in heaven cry out, "How long, O
Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on
them that dwell on the earth? " But we hear the Lord promising
(Revelation 20:20), "Surely, I come quickly." And so, we say, "Even
so, come, Lord Jesus."