The minor prophets as a whole, and Joel very specifically, present God’s call to His prodigal children to repent and return to the God that saved us. His generation had to make a decision. Every generation has to make a decision. You and I have to make a decision. The third chapter of Joel informs us that God will one day make a decision regarding our decisions. In 3:14, Joel calls this the Valley of Decision. He says that there will be many in that valley. He writes, “Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Everyone has to decide!

I hate decisions! I can’t decide what kind of razor blades to buy anymore. There are just too many to choose from. But deciding what’s really important is inescapable for each of us. I’ve met people who have been introduced to the Gospel message yet have made no personal decision regarding it. They’d rather not deal with it. I know I put off the decision personally until I was nearly 32 years old. But not making a decision is making a decision. It’s deciding not to. Indecision is a decision for the negative. In the Valley of Decision, God will decide regarding our indecision and our decisions. Guzik says, “The idea of the ‘Valley of Decision’  has been used in countless evangelistic meetings to show people that they stand in the ‘Valley of Decision’ and must decide for or against Jesus. Joel’s context is exactly the opposite. Man does indeed stand in the valley of decision, but it is God who does the deciding, not man. It is a valley of judgment—and we should decide for Jesus right now, so we never stand in this valley of decision.”[1]

Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes.  The cobbler asked young Reagan, “Do you want square toes or round toes?”  Unable to decide, Reagan didn’t answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days.  Several days later, the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes.  Reagan still couldn’t decide, so the shoemaker replied, “Well, come by in a couple of days.  Your shoes will be ready.”  When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe! “I learned right then and there,” Reagan said later, “if you don’t make your own decisions, someone else will.” Joshua challenged the Israelites as they were struggling with the temptations of the gods of the land they were supposed to subdue. He said in Joshua 24:15, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

[1] Guzik, David. 2000. Joel. David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible. Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.