Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Joel 3:14-21 (NKJV)

14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.

16 The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”

18 And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Acacias.

19 “Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of violence against the people of Judah, for they have shed innocent blood in their land.

20 “But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

21 “For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion.”


What is this “Valley of Decision” mentioned in today’s text? None other than the Valley of Jehoshaphat where God’s role as Judge of the creation is executed. Here “decision” refers to the heavenly Judge’s decision or judicial decree. This beautifully demonstrates our understanding of Justification being a gracious merciful decision of God bestowed upon us by faith in Jesus Christ and His payment of the debt that our sin requires.

On the other hand, those not washed by the waters flowing from the fountain of faith through grace shall face a God Whose voice will shake Heaven and Earth destroying the nations. As God thundered against the earthly Jerusalem (2:11), so He will now thunder against the heavenly Jerusalem’s enemies. God blesses His people with His inheritance in a dual way: negatively, by destroying their enemies; and positively, by giving them good things. For “the Lord is a refuge to His people, a stronghold to the people.” (vs. 16)

The Lord Himself will dwell with them in this holy and impregnable New Jerusalem forever. (Rev. 21:1-6) A fountain of blessing will flow from God’s presence (out of the Lord’s house) to refresh His people and make their place endlessly fruitful. Thus setting in sharp focus the contrasting destinies of God’s people and the enemies of God’s kingdom. God’s judgment and redemption are consummated, His kingdom enduring and flourishing eternally. All is right with those who trust in God and live with Him.

We pray: May we be so blessed as to fully recognize and embrace this merciful working in our own lives today and unto eternity. Amen.

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