The Valley of Achor
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. ~Hosea 2:15
There are some locations that will be memorialized or remembered as places of tragedy. I think of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the site of the bombing of the federal government building that resulted in 168 fatalities and hundreds of injured people. I also think of the World Trade Center and the horrific terrorist attacks that destroyed those buildings and resulted in the loss of 3,000+ lives, many injured people, and a substantial amount of property loss. Mention the names of sites where tragedies occurred, and it brings sobering thoughts to mind. The Valley of Achor was a place in the Bible that brought memories of a great tragedy.
We see the defeat.
“And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water” (Joshua 7:5). After a mighty conquest by the hand of God against Jericho, Joshua and the Israelites were shamefully defeated by the smaller city of Ai. Joshua got on his face for the remainder of that day until evening in mourning. Joshua presumed that the Lord had forsaken them and had given them up for defeat. What he did not suspect was that the reason for their defeat lay inside their camp.
We see the disclosure.
“Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff” (Joshua 7:11). God sternly told Joshua that the reason for their defeat was because the accursed thing was stolen and hidden by a family in Israel. God told him that the reason for their defeat was because of sin. Sin prevents the blessings of God on our life. Sin hinders our praying. Sin breaks our fellowship with God and with other believers. Joshua needed to quickly find out who stole the accursed thing and get this matter right before God.
We see the discipline.
“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done” (Joshua 7:20). A search was done, and it was narrowed down to Achan and his household. Achan confessed that he saw, coveted, stole, and hid a garment, silver, and gold. He knew that he was not supposed to take it, but he was overcome with greed and covetousness. The punishment for what he did was severe. He, his family, and all his herds would be stoned and, afterwards, burned in fire. Achan's family was condemned and suffered a horrific punishment. The place where they were stoned was called the Valley of Achor. Achor and Achan mean trouble. Can you imagine the notoriety of a place known as the Valley of Achor, or trouble? Sin always will be dealt with.
We see the door.
However, years later, God speaks about this Valley of Achor becoming a door of hope to His people. God can turn our tragedies into hope. He gives beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. The devil might mean something for evil, but God means it for good. Don’t let a bad situation make you take your eyes off of God. Look for a door of hope wherever you have a Valley of Achor.
Have a hope-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 39-40