Friday, May 29, 2015

Amos I- Deep Rooted

Sermon Notes
Deep Rooted
May 24, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia

         Today is Pentecost Sunday. I sometimes do occasional sermons for high holy days like Pentecost. Today, I am going to stick to Amos as it ends with the promise of the outpouring of God’s Spirit on His people.
         In order to do that I am going to have to preach Amos sort of backwards with the last first and the first last. But that is a Biblical sentiment and I think it will work well. I will preach the promise first this week and then go back next week with a little more background and march our way through the book with some of the high warning passages.
         As you know, Amos was farmer from the southern regions of Israel in Judea. God called him to proclaim warning to the Northern Kingdom about their apostasy and God’s impending judgment upon them.
         In the opening of the book, God reveals that He will judge the surrounding enemies who attacked His covenant people. He makes His way through several of those enemies. But He does not stop there. God resists those who attack His people but He also brings chastisement upon His own people when they repeatedly disobey Him.
         When God speaks to the surrounding kingdoms, it should be a warning to His people. Do not think yourselves immune to the destruction brought on your enemies. It is I who have done this, says the Lord, and I can pour out the same destruction on you.
         The words of Amos do, in fact, come to pass. The Northern Kingdom refuses to repent and are judged harshly by God. This is consistent with the words of Hosea, when the pending judgment moved from Scattering by God on Jezreel, to No Mercy upon Israel Lo-Ruhammah, to finally, cutting them off so that there were Not His People, No-Ammi.
         We see a similar progressions, or rather, digression, in Amos. God warns that chaos will fall upon the enemies. They will be scattered, mercilessly attacked and finally cut-off.
         These words are no doubt very frightening. When God brings judgment upon a land, many suffer as a result. Even the faithful are caught up in the judgment and must seek God’s favor in the midst of the suffering. But, in some sense, they are also comforting. We now have the ability to look back and see with the eyes of the Spirit, what God has done, how He acts in history, and what He will do for a people that humbles themselves before Him.
         Amos preached in the days of Uzziah and Jeroboam II. He opens his book by reminding us that his ministry began two years before the earthquake. This was another of those catastrophes that the Lord brought upon Israel to cause them to repent. Amos lists many such calamities but the result is always the same, and yet you did not repent.
         When we look at natural catastrophes with a modern mindset, we tend to think of them happening as we name them, completely naturally. They occur because time and chance have acted. The problem with that view is that time and chance do not act. Things do happen in time and sometimes seemingly at random. There are scientific reasons for hurricanes, famines, droughts, tsunamis, tornadoes. And we mistake those scientific explanations of the facts of such events as the cause of those events.
         The Lord God of creation not only created but governs His creation. In the prophets we clearly see His care over creation. This includes natural phenomena but is not limited to it. In addition to the natural order, God also governs the nations. He is Lord of the nations so it makes sense that He uses them to do His bidding.
         One might argue that these things occurred in the Old Order but now the New Order in Jesus Christ is not governed in this way. But Jesus is the undisputed ruler of heaven and earth. In the Old Order, various nations were governed by rebellious demons. In the New Order, Jesus has overthrown them. So, now more than ever, the nations do the bidding of the Lord.
         Of course, nations, like individuals, can be in submission to Jesus or in rebellion to Him. But it does not require submission to Jesus for Him to use His power to govern and use nations. He does as He wills.
         As we think about changing times due to weather changes, drought, famine or due to nation changes, war and economic shifts, we should do our best to see what God is doing in the midst of these things. If we look at it this way, then we see that the solution to much of the hardships is not merely national power, economic stimulus, or the attempt to control the weather. The solution to calamity and the search for living waters is repentance and submission to Jesus. When this happens, the God pours out rivers of life to bless His people.
         In the first 8 chapters of Amos, there is almost nothing but warning of calamity. He calls out the people, the leaders and the priests for various levels of rebellion. He warns them to repent but to no avail.
         The people are in the midst of good times and they refuse to hear the voice of the Lord. As a result, their doom awaits them. Judment falls. Samaria falls. Eventually, Jerusalem falls. There is a famine of the words of God in the land and the people are as a the heathen, without God and without hope.
         But God points to a day in which He will act in such a tremendous way that the perilous times will cease. He will pour out His Spirit and the sons and daughters of ordinary people will be as the prophets of old. They will know the Word of God and will heed His voice.
         We know historically that the times of blessing never arrived on the people of Israel. They went into captivity and returned. They rebuilt their ruined city and ruined temple but it’s glory was Ichabod, the glory had departed. God went silent and the voice of one crying in the wilderness was not heard until John Baptist.
         What do the promises of God in Amos entail?

         Amos 9:11   In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 
         The tabernacle of David is the promised Kingship of David that will never cease. Jesus quotes this promise in the New Testament when He says the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand.
         Furthermore, this is the context of the quote from Joel but continues on in Peter’s sermon in Acts.
         Acs 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:  21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 
         That was the quote from Joel to note the Day of the Lord. But look where Peter takes argument.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:  23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.  25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 
The Messiah is always on the right hand of God, the right hand of power and rule. This is the fulfillment of the eternal reign of the Son of David.

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:  27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 
David prophesied of his eternal kingdom but he knew it would not be himself who ruled it. Peter reminds them that they know where David is buried and that he was not resurrected.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 
David was dead but not gone. He was a departed spirit. Peter is arguing for something different here. The resurrection is the human body coming back to life. His flesh did not see the corruption that like David’s flesh did.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 
There are two things that testify of the eternal reign of Christ. The first is the Resurrection of the dead. The second is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,  35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.  36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
It should be clear to these people at Pentecost that not only the prophecy that Joel spoke but also the glorious restoration in Amos had come upon them.
In the ministry of the Apostles, they were not trying to establish a national Israel. They were not trying to solidify the land taken by David or the Solomonic Kingdom. No doubt, their view included the land of Israel but in a very short time, it was clear that it was not limited to the land of Israel.
As soon as the persecution starts until Saul, the gospel spreads far and wide. The people flee but they take Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the kingdom of God with them wherever they go. The disciples finally get this clearly when the Spirit is poured out on the Gentiles through Peter and the ministry of Paul and Barnabas.
This is important because it helps us interpret those passages in the prophets that seem to point to a land restoration for Israel. That land is now the entire earth, not just a national homeland for Israel. Since Jesus is enthroned as the Lord of the Nations, all nations, all places on Earth, belong to Him.
So, we can interpret these passages the way the disciples interpreted them. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. God’s land is now the whole world.

Amos 9
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 
This is the promise that God will rule over all the earth. God gave them victory not just over their ancient enemies but over all the earth.  He says the heathen will be called by the name of Yahweh.

13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
What will happen in this era? Abundance of blessing beyond not only what we can imagine but even beyond what is possible. This is beyond the natural order of things and so it must be supernatural.
Plowman shall overtake the reaper- As soon as you plow it is harvest time.
Treader of grapes shall overtake the sower of seed- As soon as you plant the seed, it is time to make wine.

14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 

15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Rivers of Wine

Most of Amos is full of warning. But when we get to the end we see the promise of re-creation. After the darkness of judgment, there is the light of hope.
         Our God is a kind and gracious Father and is also holy. He disciplines for disobedience. He even cuts off those who steadfastly refuse His grace and mercy and turn to other gods, who are no gods, for their comfort and salvation.
         But He never totally cuts off salvation from the Earth. And now in a new era, in a better covenant with better promises, God remembers His covenant, for God so loves the world, and He restores the years the locust has eaten. Where there was nothing, there is plenty. Where there was famine and death, there is the bread of life. Where there was drought and deadly thirst, there are rivers of living water, rivers flowing with the wine of the New Covenant.
         We partake now of God’s kindness to us in Jesus for our God has restored us to His favor through the precious blood of His own dear Son.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Baby Brothers

Baby Brothers

Whence comes this feeling in my belly?
Life there from the movements that I feel.
Can it be for me who once was empty?
There is no doubt, it moves, it’s real.

Larger and larger the swelling grows,
Ankles disappear.
No more vision of my curly toes
And hope for deliverance delays its show.

Until with startling shocks of pain
To couch until the birth I go.
And longed for pain’s refrain
Comes home, again, again, again.

Now, now the babies come.
The first head soon appears.
He is anxious not to be outdone
And clamors forth in tears.

As the first head begins to crown
And painfully emerges.
I am full of fears within and cries without,
My face a wretched sweaty frown
Until his curly head I spy and shout
Manchild born! and panging pain dies down.

But cramps again with pangs of birth
When suddenly there appears
A second crown of hairs
A second son, unlike the first.

His hair fair, the other’s black.
Nor curly but straight as furrowed rows.
The second having escaped his sack
Delivered with no pain at all.

These two, these miracles from God.
Baby toes and fingers tiny.
Appear obedient to pain’s purging rod
Now mother ‘s face is shiny.

They grow, these boys in fertile soil.
One tills the ground his food to grow.
One kills his game for food to show.
Two brothers, one mother, unlike each other.

Double the joy with each reflection
God’s character in boy’s complexion.
Life giver, from earth and air and water.
Life taker, from beast, provider, hunter.

Life given and taken from boys,
They learn to act like men.
Contentment revealed in playful toys
And also blows from envy’s sin.

Mother scolds and father trains
Boys contend and chaos reigns
And envy raises his ugly head.
These twins engaged as rivals dread.

Babies are blessings and boys bless better.
But not all babies are blessings after.
Boys are blessings until they sin
And not all boys bless into men.

Some follow envy, strife and sin.
And even murder when sin is rooted
Growing envy ever deeper then,
Men walk in envy evil booted.

Two stories of blessing and also cursing.
Two boys contending, even nursing.
One nourished to faith, hope and love
One feeding on fear and envy and pain.
One gives only a simple shove
The other to death blows resorts again.

These brothers we know and name,
The second is Abel the first is Cain.
Their stories haunt us as well they should.
One was bad the other good.
In Christ the one was trusting
The other His grace withstood.

But better promises have we than they
For our children older and younger
In Christ’s Spirit thirst and hunger
And walk with Jesus day unto day.

Jesus redeems a brother’s brood.
Forgives and cleanses envious sin.
And as the greatest Elder Brother
Makes elder wicked brothers good.

Motherhood is before us.
Babies are our game.
But raising immortal souls will make us
Nevermore the same.

A mother’s love is not the only needed grace.
A father, too, to discipline
Boys who with downcast shameful face,
Convicted souls, confess and then
Bring forth works of repentance.

They turn from sin and take their place
That the one who would kill the other,
Will instead obey his mother.
And turn from sin’s accursed grip
To obey the law of father’s lip.

And bless his brother and his mother
And give him life instead of death.
For our children are Christ’s after
And to Him give their every breath.

For better is our Elder Brother
Than the older who killed the younger.
For Jesus is like no other
Nor rivals siblings in the womb.
His brotherhood by far is better
Returning life beyond the tomb.

He considers others than himself higher
Esteems them blessed while He forsaken
And gives them higher life the lower,
While His own life for them is taken.

And rather dies than kills
To show His blessed Father’s will.
To Him we look and learn the lesson
Sidelong looks of envy kill.
He is the greatest prized possession
And best of brother’s keepers still.

What hope we gain from this sad story
Of envy, pain and death?
To love the Lord of glory
And rest there upon His blessed breast.

Like John who loved Jesus deeply
Like brothers should who love like God.
But Jesus is the one who gave him
Life to love him back like God.

Love without envy, guilt or shame.
A love that sinful measures tame.
And life then in His Spirit
And joy and hope and love and grace.
For all that look upon their babies’ faces
See in that mirror the face of Jesus.

As Father looks to Son and sees
The perfect One by grace received.
So, we too, receive them still
By grace we hold them until
We give them back to Him with ease
And rest in God’s unending peace.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Joel Sermon Notes

Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision
May 17, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia

         The Book of Joel is very relevant to our day. Not only does it prophecy the greatest event in human history, recreation in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but it speaks to us of the dangers of refusing this great blessing.
         In Joel’s day, the elders, the priests, the farmers were all in need of repentance. God sent a swarm of locusts to devastate their land in order to get their attention. The locusts were a judgment from God but also a blessing. They were a pre-cursor to a far more severe judgment. If they got the warning from God and repented, then He would relent from further calamity that was to befall them. That calamity would be invading armies that utterly wasted the land, killed their wives and children and hauled them off into exile.
         We are not certain of the date of Joel. Many dates have been put forth. I believe an early date makes the most sense. Joel is thought to be an original author with many other Major and Minor prophets picking up his language in their writings. This makes an early date likely.
         He is speaking to the Southern Kingdom, to Judah. But his message works just as well if he was speaking to the Northern Kingdom.
         Chapter one opens with the advent of a locust attack and this theme carries on through the middle of the second chapter. As a result of the locust plague, Joel calls the nation to repentance.

         1:2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?
         11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
         13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
         Joel 1:14   Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,  15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 
         Joel 2:12   Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

         Valley of Jeshoshapat near or at Temple Mount. This is likely where the disciples were gathered when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost. This is the very place the Lord gathered people to pour out His Spirit upon them.

         Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.  6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.  7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
         It is sad times for drunkards and gluttons because there is no wine or wheat harvest. The vines are all eaten. Even the bark is stripped off the fig tree.
Joel 1: 13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
The devastation is so total that there is not even meat offering or drink offerings. This means that there is no way to draw near to God. They cannot bring God anything. He must extend His grace and mercy to them.
15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
The day of the Lord is a destructive event. The locusts provide the day of the Lord. They bring God’s wrath upon the land.
The text expressly tells us that this destruction is from the Almighty.
Throughout the Major and Minor prophets, the Day of the Lord is associated with God’s wrath both upon His own stubborn and rebellious people, as well as the heathen.
In Malachi, we are told expressly that Elijah will come to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the Earth with a curse. This was to  happen before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord.
The New Testament tells us that the prophesied Elijah was fulfilled in John the Baptist. He proclaimed repentance for the Kingdom of God was at hand. For those who would not repent, coming of the Day of the Lord was at hand.
Joel 2:1   Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;  2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
Day of the Lord is darkness and gloominess. A great people and strong. This is the locusts. In front of them, the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them a desolate wilderness. Nothing escapes them.
Imagine the landscape as after a tornado roars through. You have seen the pictures on television. The trees are stripped bare. All the leaves are gone. Everything looks grey and gloomy. Imagine the building all intact, while the trees and shrubs are nothing but sticks. There are no leafing plants left. All flowers, grass, wheat, and all crops are completely devoured. What is left is brown and dead.
9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.  10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:  11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
The day of the Lord is great and very terrible. God utters His voice before His army of locusts. That is to say that the Lord calls them to this work.

Joel 2:12   Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?  15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:  16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.  17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Turn to the Lord. Rend your heart, not your garments.
He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. When you repent, the Lord relents.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.  22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.  23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.  25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
V. 25- The brings life where there is no life. He brings the pastures back. He brings rain to relieve the drought. He gives increase to our future to make up for the past, restoring the years the locust has eaten.
You shall know that I am in your midst. When God restores, there is no doubt that it is Him.

Joel 2:28   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
This is the passage quoted by Peter on Pentecost.

Furthermore, Peter says,
Acts 2:14   But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
He then quotes the verses so the people know what he is talking about. It was the locust infestation. But they also understood that God judged Samaria and Jerusalem with armies that were more fearsome than the locusts because they killed, besieged and destroyed the cities.

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,  35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.  36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
David was the king who ruled over Jerusalem but his day was already over when Joel prophesied. Peter points out that the promises of a perpetual Davidic Kingdom cannot point to David. They have to point to someone else.

Acts 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
They got the point. If they do not repent and believe in Jesus who is the King, then they will be destroyed. They are gathered by God for destruction but God is slow to anger and quick to forgive and He restores the years the locust has eaten, the years of disobedience and unbelief.

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
Peter tells them to do what Joel told the people to do. Repent. In the Old Covenant, they were to repent to Yahweh because He was gracious and merciful, slow to anger and quick to forgive.
The Jews gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat at Pentecost get the allusion. We are like those Jews of that day. We need to repent. If we do not, then God’s wrath will be poured out on us just like it was poured out on them.

Joel 3:18   And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Peter tells them to repent and be baptized. The Joel passage is also full of water. The rivers of Judah shall flow with water. A fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord and shall water the valley of Shittim.
From Jesus come the rivers of the waters of life. He gave to the woman at the well rivers of living water. Here, the temple produces waters of life.  Peter declares that these waters are the Spirit that is now poured out.
The way to receive this water of life is through repentance of sin and belief in Jesus and submission to Him.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Joel 3:1   For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,  2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
No doubt the gathered Jews had this Scripture in their minds, as well. The nations were gathered at Jerusalem. There were people from all over the world at Jerusalem for Pentecost. It is true that these people were Jews but they also spoke many different languages from around the world. These are the scattered people brought back to partake of the living waters.

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 the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  16 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.  17 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.
Just as there were multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision in Joel’s day, so there are multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision in Peter’s day. The Lord has come upon them like a storm of locusts.
The Day of the Lord is at hand. What will you do? Will you repent and believe in Jesus or will you stand with the nations who will be judged by God? The language of sun, moon and stars being darkened speak of God’s wrath. The locusts darkened the sky as God’s host. So, here, judgment draws near but all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Now, we understand that the name of Yahweh is Jesus. So, call upon Him for salvation.
Joel 3:18   And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.  19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.  20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.  21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.
         In Christ, new wine, hills flowing with milk, rivers flowing with living water, a fountain of life from God’s temple. Jesus is the Temple!
         Judah will dwell forever, Jerusalem from generation to generation. This is the New Heavens and the New Earth. This is the heavenly Jerusalem.

         We really should pay attention to the day of the Lord. The Lord calls His army, locusts, clouds, hurricanes to do His will. Of course, in any one situation, we are at a difficulty to explain what God has done. Did the tower fall upon them because they were greater sinners than the rest of you?  No, but unless you repent you likewise shall perish.
         The message? Take stock of God’s judgments and repent lest you perish in the way.
         The church and civic leaders have everything backwards in our time. Instead of repenting, they argue for more of the same sins. More adultery. More debauchery. More perversion. And no dissent allowed. For the dissenters who speak against sin are troubling the land. If we rid the land of them, they argue, then we would be blessed.
         But the word of God speaks prophetically. Elijah was not the troubler of the land. Ahab was. Jezebel was.
1Kings 18:17   And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.