“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. – Hosea 2:14-15 ESV
God brought the above passage to mind as I read the account of the sin of Achan in Joshua 7. In Joshua 6 we read about the Israelites defeating Jericho. One of God’s stipulations in His promise of victory was that they take nothing for themselves. They were to take the gold and silver and precious things and devote them to God alone. We then read how Achan disobeyed that Commandment by taking some precious things for himself and hiding them in his tent. It was not until Joshua’s men attempted to defeat Ai that they realized there was sin in the camp. God through His sovereignty soon revealed Achan’s sin, and Achan was subsequently punished by death before all Israel; he was stoned and burned because of his blatant sin.
Now read with me verse 26: And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor. This means the Valley of Achor got its name from Achan, a man who blatantly sinned and was then punished for that sin. Even more, the first Valley of Achor was itself a door of hope, for it was through that death—the death of the sinful one–that God redeemed the Israelites. And once God redeemed the Israelites, He sent them back into Ai–and they were victorious.
Through the death of sin, victory came.
Does this scenario sound familiar? It should. We are all like Achan: sinful, selfish, and disobedient. We’ve all disobeyed the Holy One numerous times. And although we deserved to be destroyed for our sin as Achan was, God sent His only son Jesus to take that place for us. Jesus suffered our penalty in that Valley of Achor so that we would not have to.
Jesus Himself in John 10:9 declares the following: “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” This means Jesus IS the door of hope. He is the way out of the valley. No, we cannot avoid the Valley of Achor, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), but when we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, we find hope–a door of hope.
And all who enter that door will be saved.
Sin separates. Sin leads us into the valley–a valley full of weeping, of mourning, and of death. But God. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:4-5). God sent Jesus to be our door–our door of hope. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Today I encourage you with this: allow Jesus to be your door of hope. Allow the One who knew no sin to become sin for you. No, it is not fair. No, it does not seem right. But it is truth–God’s Truth. God so loved you He sent Jesus to die on the cross for you. All you need to do is believe–to open the door. Open that door of hope. He’s standing there waiting, knocking, praying for you to come unto Him (Revelation 3:20).
Sin can be the wall that keeps you separated from God, or it can become the avenue to Him. Allow it to be the avenue to Him. Welcome Jesus into your heart and life today. When you do–when you realize He has been alluring you this whole time–you will also realize that the very Valley of Achor that was destroying you has been transformed into the door of hope that has saved you.
Jesus loves you, my friend. Welcome Him into your heart today. You’ll be glad you did.