A Glimmer of Hope
There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope… (Hosea 2:15)
The prophet Hosea delivered his message to a nation that had been unfaithful to God, and as such was headed for certain disaster. Hosea warned the people of their condition both with his words and his life. Yet, in the middle of his oracle of judgment, there is a surprising glimmer of hope. The LORD speaks through the prophet and says, “There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope…” (Hosea 2:15, NIV).
The Valley of Achor was the place of Achan’s notorious failure. A monument was raised there to remind the nation of the high cost of disobedience. Achor literally means “Trouble” – and the Valley of Achor was the symbol of the kind of trouble, pain, loss, and destruction that results from disobedience. Just like Achan had broken covenant and brought trouble on himself, his family and his nation—so also, unfaithful Israel had broken covenant and was headed for devastating trouble. Like a marriage gone bad, there was pain, and loss, and destruction in their future… They were going back to the Valley of Achor to re-live the dark days of disobedience.
And yet, even there in that dark place, God promised a “door of hope!” The nation’s disobedience landed them back in the Valley of Achor, but God’s love is steadfast and His mercy endures forever. In spite of all that they had done in forgetting God, He stood ready to transform their repetition of Achan’s sin into a door of hope.
We’ve all had our experiences in the Valley of Achor. We’ve all had our failures, and we’ve all made mistakes. We know what it’s like to disappoint ourselves and others; to make wrong choices and bring trouble on ourselves and on those we love. We’ve felt the sting of guilt and we know the pain of disappointment. We’re familiar with the darkness of the Valley of Achor. We’ve been there… perhaps more than once.
But in the midst of our struggles; at the point of our deepest wounds and worst failures… In our Valley of Achor, God promises a door of hope!
Even in judgment, He remembers mercy. He transforms a monument of failure into a door of hope. His compassion never fails. His mercy endures forever, and it triumphs over judgment. He makes the Valley of Achor into a door of hope!