Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:14)
The Valley Of Decision
Joel was a prophet who preached a simple yet powerful message to rebellious Israel: repent. The setting of Joel’s book is the terrible devastation of a locust plague that became the symbol of God’s wrath against wicked Israel. Joel warns the children of God of greater judgment to come in the coming day of the Lord. This judgment would become a universal message for all men to know the coming of the Lord. Failing to heed the warnings would bring certain destruction. Joel’s prophecies reached into the New Testament as Peter identifies the fulfillment of the prophet’s prophecies to the days of the church. The early Christians’ message echoed Joel’s preaching for all men to repent as Paul warned of the day appointed on which God will judge the world in righteousness.
The day of the Lord has always been something men must face. Adam and Eve faced that decision when they ate of the forbidden fruit. Noah warned the world of the coming judgment through the flood, but only eight were saved when the day of the Lord came. Israel experienced many times the day of the Lord came. First in Egypt, then through the wilderness wanderings, and finally by the hand of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Jesus preached the message of repentance for the coming day of the Lord. The New Testament warns of the coming day of the Lord yet to come. There will be a day when Jesus Christ returns with His holy angels taking vengeance on those that do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. That day of the Lord will be the final judgment.
Joel warns the people of the day of the Lord and challenges them to walk in the valley of decision. The valley of decision is the place all men find themselves. They must answer to God for their actions. No one is unaccountable before the Lord. All men walk in the valley of decision. The valley of decision is where a man decides what he believes and what he will do with his life. Israel needed to turn back to the Lord, and when they left the valley of decision, they chose to rebel. God had granted them every blessing to return to Him to be showered with His grace and love, but they refused. They decide. Their journey in the valley of decision did not move them closer to God; it drew them away.
The valley of decision is where everyone finds themselves as they face the day of the Lord. In the valley are the blessings and mercies of God. The Lord stands ready to receive all those who call upon His name. He has given His only begotten Son to die for the sins of all men. The Bible unfolds the mind of God for men to know and understand the will of the Lord. Every day is an eternal blessing of an opportunity to turn to the Lord in the valley of decision. Sadly, most men leave the valley with their minds made up to serve themselves rather than the Lord. The valley of decision is the grace of God offered for those who are willing to accept and know the redemption of Christ through His blood. A decision must be made, and that choice is made by the heart of men. God has done all that He can do. The heart of man wills to decide whether to accept God’s grace and obey or to seek salvation in self. The latter will fail every time and is the worst decision a man can make. Choosing self in the valley of decision becomes an eternal decision in the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) or, as Jesus alluded: Hell.