Summary: Sometimes, in order for God to get our attention and turn us back to Him, He must take us to the Valley of Trouble before we can find the Door of Hope.
"A VALLEY OF TROUBLE FOR A DOOR OF HOPE"
TEXT: HOSEA 2:14-16
Has there ever been a time in your life that you remember how when you were so set to do your own thing, and it did not matter who it effected or hurt? And then perhaps, instead of mom and dad doing or saying anything to you, they just let you go your way until the very thing you wanted so badly turned bad on you? So much so, that it took that hardship, or disappointment to get you to wake up and come to your senses that all along mom and dad were right? Well, this is pretty much what we find here in this particular passage of scripture.
God was so much in love with Israel. Israel was the apple of God’s eye. This love story that is told in the book of Hosea is one of the most moving stories of any time or of any place. For it is a story that touches many lives and homes today where there is separation, division, and strife. Where husbands and wives don’t get along. And where the flame of what was once a passionate, loving relationship, has now turned into a pile of smoldering coal and ashes.
Many cry bitter tears and ask, "Why?" and "How could this have happened?" But the truth remains that it is always sin that destroys homes. It is always sin that destroys a marriage!
And another truth that accompanies this is that it is the children, another generation, that suffer the greatest loss in the relationship!
And here we find a bitter fight. We find a woman who is leaving her husband. She feels that he is not good enough. He does not meet her expectations anymore. "In fact," she tells him, "I’ve been seeing someone else. He’s got everything I’ve always wanted. He really loves me.... I’m sorry, goodbye."
And there in the stunned hurt and sorrow stands a man who cannot seem to change her mind. Although he has tried many times, he can only look at her picking up her bags and walking out the door. And here we read of how Isreal had her bags packed and was walking out on God.
But God does not give up easy my friend! God’s love is a love that knows no bounds. He keeps reaching. He keeps on pleading. He says, "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope."
Isreal was unfaithful to God. A spiritual adultress. Caught in the act. It was so repulsive to God, that God was about to strip her of all standing when God says, "I will allure her. I will attract her. I’ll keep courting her. I’ll draw her to me again! And I will speak comfortably to her. I’ll speak ’words of love’ to her. Because I can’t give up on the one that I love!"
Against His own nature, God steps into the place of reconciling her back to Him. In otherwords, He said, "Hey, let’s get away, just you and me, and go away for a while, so we can talk this over and be together like we used to be, with no one else around. Let’s go to a secret place. Alone. You and me... together. Because I really love you. I care for you and I want you to be totally mine!" God was committed to her redemption. He was committed to her deliverance!
And we come to church to commune with Him, to be plunged deeper, to soar higher, and to go farther with God than we have ever gone before! And I wonder sometimes if we ever really thank Him for what He has done! Yet God looked at this illreputable woman and said, "I know she doesn’t deserve it, but I’ll keep providing for her. I’ll keep loving her. I’ll keep drawing her .... just because she cannot help herself!"
I. THE VALLEY OF TROUBLE
A. God said, "I’ll give her the Valley of Achor for a door of hope."
1. The Valley of Achor was the valley where Achan was slain for his trespass during the battle of Jericho, when his heart coveted the wedge of gold, the silver, and the Babylonish garment.
Joshua 7 - (Tell the story of Achan’s sin - Isreal’s defeat at Ai - Joshua seeking the reason why - Achan’s lot drawn - Achan and his family buried under the stones)
B. Verse 26 - "And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place the valley of Achor unto this day."