Jan
26

The Door of Hope

By

The Old Testament contains the story of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea was God’s servant who God told to marry Gomer, a prostitute. As the story unfolds, we find God describing His people and their unfaithfulness to Him. Then we find a beautiful expression of God’s intentions for His beloved, unfaithful people. We find God’s intentions for us. His intentions for me.  His intentions for you. We find a  promise so amazing that we can hardly understand.

 Hosea 2:14-15 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her.

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…

 

I will allure her. 

God allures me, his unfaithful one.

I will bring her into the wilderness.

Into the wilderness.  He allures me into the wilderness.

A  lonely place.  A place of confusion. A place of lack. Dry. Deserted. Foreign.

And then… 

I will speak comfort to her.

God, you are so confusing!  You lead me into a painful place and then you comfort me?

I will give her her vineyards from there.

What?  You want to give me fruitfulness from my place of desolation?

And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope

The Valley of Achor. The valley of trouble. The scene of national disaster.  The place where the victory over Jericho was negated by the sin of one man, Achan. The place where Achan was stoned for his sin. The Valley of Achor. One big bad memory.

How can my place of trouble become the place of hope?

So many times I think of the places of my pain, whether they be literal places or memories,  as places I wish I never had to see again.  Bad memories.  Better off forgotten. Somehow if I just never had to look at them again, the pain would not be so bad. How I wish I could just forget those places.  I work hard to put them out of my mind. But God…   

He refuses to allow me to run forever.  He knows I must face the pain, face the memory, face the failure. And there He comforts me.  There He gives me my own places of fruitfulness. There, in the very places of pain and failure, He makes a door of hope. 

A door. An entrance into another place.  A passageway. 

A door of hope.  And she will sing there.

God takes me into the most desolate painfully dry places.  I come up empty in my efforts to escape.  I continue in my lack of understanding.  I circle the mountain in the wilderness so many times. I am tired and weary. And He awaits. He awaits to comfort me. To give me my very own place of fruitfulness.  He awaits at the place of my shame and failure to give me a passageway into a place of future and hope.

 And when I see the beauty of the future birthed in the wilderness, I  sing there. Beauty for ashes. Joy for mourning. The song of the redeemed.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit … Romans 5:5

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Categories : Hope

Comments

  1. susi says:

    Could I have married someone who I knew was going to be unfaithful to me–even if God asked me to? What moaning and groaning I would think I was entitled to in that situation. In that ancient society, especially, a woman was property. No man would fathom marrying someone he couldn’t control.I fear I have not evolved much. A rotten marriage is not in my dreams! Would I ever be willing to take a plunge as deeply painful as Hosea took on God’s behalf? Or would I run? Would I marry knowing I would constantly be unfulfilled in that marriage? I wonder if I would even think that such a message could ever be from God–he wants me happy, right!? Yet, I so often end up on the unsatisfying end of dreams. Better to know at the beginning, like Hosea, perhaps, but no less painful. In Hosea’s story, God reveals to me my Gomerness, and allows me to see what is really inside me. Lord,let me embrace that understanding! How gracious is God for his revelation of what needs changing in me! How precious is his involvement in my unfaithful life! How gracious is God for walking with me through it.

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