Hosea 2:15 “There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
This chapter, indeed this whole book, is a remarkable and in some ways heartbreaking story of a marriage that was a fitting parable for the relationship of Israel to Yahweh. I’m very thankful God didn’t call me to serve Him in the way He called Hosea! That said, there are a number of things in the story that are very pertinent to all who seek God. What stands out to me in this verse is the Valley of Trouble (which is what Achor means) becoming a door of hope. I’m reminded of Andrae Crouch’s song, Through It All. Often we don’t recognize God and all that He has for us until we get into a really hard place, generally through our own stupidity and rebellion. However, when we do repent and turn to God we find that He is incredibly gracious and loving, and we can be as responsive to Him as a young bride is to her husband. (Rather than “sing,” the Japanese goes with “respond,” which the NIV gives as a footnote.) The issue with Israel was that they attributed God’s blessings to idols, and so chased after the idols. We actually do the same, though it’s not generally in terms of statues and the like. We attribute modern affluence and luxury to science or technology, not acknowledging that it is God who makes those things possible. We claim “the God of Spinoza,” a Creator who isn’t interested in the activities of His creatures, as a way to avoid (we think) accountability to Him, when the Bible is clear that He is our heavenly Father who cares enough about us to send His Son to die in our place. We need to acknowledge Him in order to get the full benefit of all that He provides, and not have to go through the Valley of Trouble in the process.
Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone. I’ve always had problems with intellectual pride, and that’s what tricks people into trying to relegate God to an indifferent Creator. I need to remember constantly that I am accountable to Him, and so live my life for His glory by the guidance and power of His Spirit. He is indeed incredibly gracious, and He hasn’t given up on me in spite of my many failures. I am to respond eagerly to Him, delighting in His presence, so that His presence may radiate through me to draw others to Him as well, for their salvation and His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me live it out consistently, whatever is going on around me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!