Hasten and come, all you neighboring peoples, assemble there! Bring down, O lord, your warriors! Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there will I set in judgement upon all the neighboring nations, Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come and tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow for great is there malice.
Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; For near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision. Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness. The Lord roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem raises his voice; the heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a refuge to his people a stronghold to the men of Israel.
Then shall you know that I, the Lord, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain;
Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more. And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; And the channels of Judah shall flow with water: A fountain shall issue from the house of the Lord, to water the Valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be waste, and Edom a desert waste, Because of the violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem for all generations. I will avenge their blood, and not leave it unpunished.
The Lord dwells in Zion.
The scripture speaks of Christ gathering the wheat, his beloved children, using his sickle. We feel great discomfort as sin is stripped away in the hope of reaching maturity for our union with Christ. It can sometimes feel like a revolution is happening within. Momentarily you become an observer of your own life to escape the pain. But hold tight to Jesus as your safe harbor. Let words of scripture roll quickly and freely from your mouth. Proclaiming his name, knowing that God loves all his children and sees how to draw each child home.
Once called home, and the word of God is in us, we are like a baby with our eyes closed. We hold on by faith alone. As the Spirit guides us, we enter the canal, moving us toward new birth. The light shines on our imperfections so bright. Sometimes we can’t even see them being removed as we become washed and beautiful once more.
It often seems like God is not looking and has turned his gaze away. But God knows instinctively where we are in the birth canal. And how to draw us home to where we will be saturated in God’s presence and overcome with joy.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.