Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14
Full disclosure: I don’t know Hebrew. So, when my Concordia says that the word for “decision” here is a different word than that used for Jehoshaphat (in verses 2 and 12), which also means “God decides”, then I take it at face value. The NIV translation I use was built using original texts understood by a panel of people learned in the languages originally used to record them.
Yet I wanted to know more. So, a little light research (at https://www.gotquestions.org/valley-of-decision.html) brings out the point that this verse is both an invitation and a warning. It’s an invitation for the believer to enter with thanksgiving and rejoicing into the place where Christ will judge us. The end of tribulation and anguish will be at hand. And, it will be a warning to those who reject Jesus that the end of the tribulation their sins have caused will be at hand…along with judgment that will lead to their damnation.
The decision in the valley will be God’s alone, deciding on our eternal destiny. The decisions in this life, my friend, are yours and mine. Will we follow Jesus and the narrow road He asks us to walk; a narrow road that leads, however, to a wide world of choices and opportunities. Or, will we choose the wide road of choices that leads away from Jesus and down to the narrow side at Megiddo that will oppose Him?
Another site, https://bibleask.org/what-does-the-phrase-the-valley-of-decision-in-joel-314-mean/, says that the most appropriate interpretation, based on the context of chapter 3, is that 3:14 talks about God’s judgment. That this verse is, indeed, one about the Last Judgment of mankind. Jesus Himself corroborates this with the Olivet Discourse (in Matthew 25), where He talks about that same coming judgment. Yet, all through the Gospels, Jesus implores all of us to follow Him. To follow His words and His commands and His requests. He doesn’t do that for vanity, or to simply cajole people into doing what He wants. He does it for our own good, knowing that mankind was created to live in peace and communion with God; that our best destiny is to pursue the kind of relationship Adam and Eve had with God before they chose sin.
And, because Jesus respects our free will, not wanting to coerce us but, instead, reason in love with our hearts, He asks us to choose to follow Him. He asks this knowing that, like Joel said, all multitudes will gather before Him in the valley of decision, where He will finally pass judgment on what all our past decisions have done for us. You don’t need Hebrew to understand that (but it helps).
For more reading: Genesis 2, Isaiah 13:4, Isaiah 22:1, Isaiah 34:2-8, Ezekiel 36:5, Zephaniah 1:7, Matthew 25:31-46, Joel 3:15
Lord, I understand You will judge me. Let me be found faithful to You.