Monday, November 4, 2013

If you're looking for a door of hope

In Hosea 2, the heading in my Bible reads, “Israel Punished and Restored.” There’s a lengthy exposition of Israel’s disobedience followed by some of the most compassionate verses in the Bible: “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”

The first time I ever read these verses, I checked the footnote, which gave the definition of Achor as meaning trouble. I loved that God was saying of the depths of trouble, He would make a door of hope.
But, I had only begun to understand these verses.

In Joshua, we read the story of the fall of Jericho. Joshua instructed Israel, “The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord" (Joshua 6:17). This meant all plunder from Jericho after its fall was to be put into the Lord’s treasury. 

However, Achan  disobeyed this command with tragic consequences and took for himself gold, a Babylonian robe, as well as silver shekels, and hid them under his tent. When it was discovered he had done this, he and all that belonged to him were destroyed. Afterward the place where this destruction occurred was called the Valley of Achor.

The Valley of Achor is not just the place of trouble; it’s the scene of our worst nightmare, the place of utter desolation, the location of absolute failure.

It's of that place, God says, He will make a door of hope.

After the death of Jesus on the cross, when His friends had gone, His disciples had scattered, and all seemed lost, God raised Jesus from the dead to become our door of hope for all eternity.

When the horror of world events shakes, or tragedy strikes close and hard, or failure and sin overwhelm, what God says about the Valley of Achor helps us cling to the hope God offers in Jesus.

No matter how terrible the situation, He can bring hope, redemption, and mercy if we turn to Him.

If you are standing in your own Valley of Achor, He is your refuge and strength.  

There are no hopeless situations, for with God, tragedy becomes the building material for a door of hope.


Nancy Hamilton Sturm said...

My bible study group is currently reading "The Story" and we just finished reading and discussing the battle at Jericho. I missed the Valley of Achor. I love the way you tied that to our doorway to salvation.

By the way, congrats on your newest devotional in the Upper Room!

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Unknown said...

Good word, Bev.

Jane said...

Beautifully said Beverly.....and so true.

Beverly Varnado said...

Would love to have been in that discussion about Jericho. Love that story. Always thankful to be included in the Upper Room, because it's meant so much to me through the years. Keep me updated about what's happening in your part of the world. You're a blessing.

Beverly Varnado said...

Thanks for reading.

Beverly Varnado said...

Jane, appreciate your sweet words. Thank you for taking the time to read. And yes, aren't we glad for that Door of hope! Love you.

Beverly Varnado said...

And one more thing, Jane. You, more than anyone I know exemplify letting God make a door of hope from tragedy. Jesus in you is hope to so, so many, including me.

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