“Proclaim this among the nations…” Joel 3:9
What God says here is to be “proclaimed” to every person because it touches every life. It’s not culturally bound; it’s worldwide.
In Joel’s vision, we see that a vast crowd is gathered in the valley, beyond any number that a human being could count, as God has gathered the nations for judgment.
This crowd is armed for a fight: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears” (3:10). What Joel says here is the opposite of the famous words of Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3, which are used as the motto of the United Nations: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
There will come a day when people won’t go to war against one another. The nations that have been experiencing peace will go to war against God instead, and they will have weapons.
It’s an extraordinary picture. No weapons ever invented can make the smallest impression against the throne of God. But here are the nations of the world, armed to fight the Almighty with swords and spears. There is something hopeless about this battle against God.
Notice that the entire human race is mobilized for this fight: “Let all the men of war draw near” (3:9). We would expect the men of war to show up, but even the timid are present: “Let the weak say, ‘I am a warrior’” (3:10).
So the lines are set for battle. On one side is a vast multitude of people—the strong and the weak—setting themselves against God. They are armed with the best weapons that they can muster. On the other side is God alone.
What are some ways you see people armed to “fight” God?