Sunday, September 21, 2014

Joel 3:14-17 -- On the Valley of Decision

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more."
Joel 3:14-17

This chapter is talking about the Second Coming, and some of the things that will happen.  The "valley of decision" part is what intrigued me as I was reading it.  It sounds figurative rather than literal, but perhaps it is both. :)  Reading about the darkness and the Earthquakes reminded be of 3rd Nephi and the appearance of Christ to the Nephites.  Before that happened, there was massive destruction, including earthquakes and thick darkness, and the reason for it is mentioned: "O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" (3 Nephi 9:13).  That is the question that the Lord asked the people out of the darkness.  And it seems like they were being asked to make a decision... perhaps the same one that will be made in the valley spoken of here.  ... And perhaps the same one that we are making every day, under less extreme circumstances.  God wants to heal us, not to hurt us or destroy us.  He only destroys evil when the situation is desperate.  As we learn in Genesis 18, God is willing to spare a whole city for the sake of ten righteous people.  He wants to give us every chance.  And he is willing to forgive us and help us if we want to change.  But we have to make that decision.  That decision isn't the end point of our progression and our relationship with God... in so many ways it is a beginning.  Today, let's make that decision without having to go through the destruction spoken of.  Let's step out of our own personal darkness.  Let's clean up our lives, and let's allow God to help us and heal us.

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