Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Hope Door

Sometimes, I just can't get a verse off my mind, and though I've previously written another post almost like this one, I still decided to go with it. It's what's on my heart today. Blessings, friends. 

A grim story unfolds in Joshua 7. It begins, “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things . . . “. Every time I read that verse, I hold my breath. I know what’s coming.

After the Israelites’ famed march around Jericho and their shouts caused its walls to fall, God gave strict instructions through Joshua that only Rahab and those with her should be saved. Precious metals were to be put in the treasury of the Lord and everything else destroyed.

But Achan couldn’t let the bounty go, disobeyed, and took some of these things and hid them in his tent. For this transgression, Israel suffered a devastating defeat in their next battle.

God revealed to Joshua the cause of the loss, and eventually Achan confessed to what he had done. Then, Achan, his possessions, and family were all destroyed.

The place where this horrific scene takes place was called the Valley of Achor.

Three centuries later, the prophet, Hosea, would reference this valley and write in speaking for God, “I will . . . make the Valley of Achor a door of hope” (Hosea 2:15).

Really, that place? At the intersection of worst nightmare and lost cause? That’s where God says he will make a door of hope? If I’d been on God’s consulting staff, I would not have done it that way.

It seems impossible.

But God doesn’t say he might make a door of hope, or he could make a door of hope. He says, I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. In situations that seem as bad as they can be, they are still not too much for God to transform by his wonder working power.

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.

In the darkest times, when hearts are breaking and questions go unanswered, let’s hold on to this. Eugene Peterson translated Hosea 2:15 in this lovely way, “I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.”

This very day, God’s hand is still on the latch of the hope door. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Him and see what happens when He opens it.

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is available wherever books are sold.  Also consider her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2021



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