Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Valley of Decision, Joel 3:14 by Ann Y.
"Multititudes, 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
We stand in this valley, as a red dawn is breaking,
With our muscles clenched and our throats aching,
With our sweat dripping and our knees shaking;
Our weapons poised up high.
The pink light that heralds this new day approaching,
Shows a battlefield filled with soldiers uncertain,
Where the enemy lies, or danger is lurking;
We struggle to ascertain.
At our feet lie the bones of the soldiers before us,
Who died without knowing the hymn or the chorus,
Whose only mistake was not knowing the foe was
That serpent who snared Mother Eve.
And now, as we each face our own Armageddon,
We tremble, for the battle has suddenly risen,
Our time in the valley--how quickly is dwindling!
The Valley of Decision.
I read this verse in Joel last week sometime, and it stuck with me. It called out to me for days, and I had to go back and read it over and over again. It has, of course, many meanings (like all good scripture). One meaning is to be found from going back to the verse before. It tells people to "put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe..." That is clearly a reference to missionary work. We see that phrase many times, particularly in the Doctrine and Covenants. So one meaning here is obviously admonishment to go out and do missionary work. And the connotation is to do it quickly, as "the day of the Lord is near."
But if you read the footnotes at the bottom of the LDS version of the King James Bible, you'll note that there is a reference to Revelation 16:16. This verse specifically speaks about Armageddon. So I did a little research about Armageddon.
In the bible dictionary, Armageddon is listed as a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word, Har Megiddon, which is the Mountain of Megiddo. The valley of this mountain is some miles north of Jerusalem. Many important battles took place there in ancient times, and apparently, the major battle of Armageddon will take place there as well. This will be a final, decisive battle where good will triumph over evil. So this is a literal place where a crucial decision for the future of mankind will take place. But like so many of the stories and prophecies in the bible, they have their literal time and place...and then they have either a type or shadow of things to come, or they have a figurative time and place.
As I read this verse over and over again, I could picture in my mind our time. I saw mists of darkness that surround us all. I saw our lost and confused brothers and sisters standing in a valley, armed and prepared for battle. They can hear the enemy approaching, and they know a battle is coming. Only they don't know who they're fighting, or why. They stand in this Valley of Decision and they don't know what decision to make.
I think, that in a larger sense, this earth life is the Valley of Decision for all of us. We stand here, and we face the onslaught of Satan, and we must choose for ourselves which side to fight for.
We have but a few years in this world to fight our own Armageddon, our own decisive battle for the outcome of our souls. Which side do we choose?