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Hosea 2:15

Hosea 2:15
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Hosea 2:15, “…and I will make the Valley of Achor (“trouble”) a door of hope.”

If we are in the One whose death has become glory in the light of His resurrection, then all of our “Valleys of Achor/Trouble” are pervaded by—and so become pathways to—hope.

Long Thoughts:In Joshua 7:22-26, we see the stoning and burning of Achan, a man who—following the pattern of Adam and Eve, 7:21—saw, desired, and took what YHWH had forbidden (spoil from Jericho) and so (again, like Adam and Eve) brought the Lord’s anger against the entire congregation. Following a defeat because of the removal of YHWH’s favor, Achan is singled out as the one who has brought “trouble” on all Israel and so he and his entire household (likely including family) are stoned and burned and buried under a heap of stone in the “valley of Achor,” or the “valley of Trouble.”

So—The Valley of Achor is a place of curse and wrath and death and blood and fire and screams and pain and suffering…….and yet Hosea says that this place will become a “door of hope” to Israel. What are we to make of that? Perhaps two takes on it….

First and most simply, the Lord may be saying that He will make the valley of Israel’s trouble a pathway to their good. This would fit well with the context of Hosea 2 wherein the Lord opposes Israel with “thorns” so that He might draw her back to Himself. And so, Hosea 2:15 may just be a way of saying that what is painful and difficult is and will be used as a door through which God’s people will enter into renewed and enduring fellowship with Himself. Regardless of what else this phrase means, this take is most certainly true.

However, the title “Valley of Achor”—while perhaps referring to generic “troubles” cannot but evoke the memories of Achan’s sin and death under the “burning anger” of YHWH at the hands of the congregation. Might we say that part of what the Lord means in Hosea 2:15 is that the place where one man is slain under wrath so that God’s anger might turn from the people will become a place of hope? In other words, might we see something of a far off glimmering of the cross here? Is Calvary—in a sense—not the true “Valley of Achor”? That is to say, is Calvary not the place where one man (admittedly, via substitution) bears the sin of the entire congregation against whom YHWH is angry and who is there slaughtered under that anger so that it might turn away from the people?

Yes…..when YHWH Himself descends into the Valley of Achor….when YHWH Himself becomes, as it were, Achan in place of a congregation of Achans….when He is made sin, who knew no sin (2 Cor.5:21), and is there slain under the wrath that burned against the people….and when this same God-man who became a curse for us is raised up in splendor and glory and life and joy—vindicated by the Father as not only the one who fulfills the command to love YHWH with all and love neighbor as self, but also as the one in whom the true Name of YHWH is manifest to creation such that the light of His resurrection floods back over the valley of His death—then the Valley of Achor, the Valley of Trouble, the Valley of curse and death and wrath, then it will become a door of hope to all who trust in this God. Might this not also be part of what is meant in Hosea 2:15?

So…..in Achan’s death, the death of one condemned man that turns God’s wrath away from the congregation, in Achan’s death I think we see a glimpse, a hint, a glimmer of what GOD HIMSELF will become and will endure so that He might open a door of hope for His people in the midst of their cursed position.

Before we question and wonder about how the God revealed in Jesus could command the stoning of a man and his family, or could command the wiping out of entire cities, or that the King of Ai be hanged on a tree (Joshua 8:29)…..we have to bear in mind that He Himself would endure and become the equivalent of all these things in place of His people from all times and places…………….and the full effect of that Love we do not yet know….we do not yet know….but we do know that when those who are in Christ see it, they will be silenced in awe and wonder and disbelieving joy.