Door of Hope

Door of Hope

DOOR OF HOPE

Hos 2:15

I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. NKJV

The story began in the book of Joshua, chapter seven. Israel, having recorded a resounding victory in their battle against Jericho, was upbeat as they prepared to take on the small nation of Ai. The spies had returned to Joshua with a report that he didn’t need to send the entire army, rather just a handful would do. But alas, when the battle was over, Israel had suffered a terrible defeat in a major battle that would determine how the Canaanites would view them.

Joshua was distraught. Israel was confused. This meant trouble because their invincibility was now at stake. Joshua lay all day before the Lord mourning and praying. Then God gave him an unexpected answer: Israel had sinned by disobeying God’s instructions. Achan was identified as the cause of Israel’s defeat. Subsequently, he and all his accomplices were executed in the Valley of Achor. Achor literarily means trouble. A monument was erected to indelibly etch this incident in the memories of those who witnessed it and those who will hear about it in the future.

A valley represents a low point, and Achor was really a low point in Israel’s match into the promised land. This valley represented defeat, shame and reproach to Israel. Each time they looked back to this incident, they were reminded of their misadventure and failure.

But that’s not the end of the story. After hundreds of years, God made a promise through the prophet Hosea that this same Valley of Achor would become a door of hope for His people, meaning that God would change the reputation of this valley, that He would remove the stigma that was attached to it.  By implication, God was saying that in the place where they had suffered disgrace and shame, He would cause hope to arise for them. God would reverse their circumstances.

The tragedy of life is not that people fall but that they remain fallen. Someone has  said that ‘the downfall of a man is not the end of his life’. This presumably was inspired by the words of Micah, “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” (Mic 7:8).

Some of you are in a valley right now. The mistakes of the past have held you down and it seems like there is no way out. The event that brought you defeat and shame is very much alive in your memory and you are wondering if the situation can ever be changed.

Yes, God can change any situation. That’s the essence of this blog, to reassure those who have experienced trouble, defeat and shame that there is hope for them. While there is life, there is hope. “Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!“(Eccl 9:4 NIV).  “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant (Job 14:7-9NKJV).

Those who give up never have the chance of knowing what could have been. The fact that you are still alive today is an indication that God hasn’t finished with you yet. He can open a door of hope from the ashes of defeat and failure. This blog therefore is a call to faith and hope in the God who can turn adversity into opportunity.

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