The Valley Of Achor As A Door Of Hope
By David J. Stewart | July 2012
Hosea 2:14-15, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 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.”
God had promised the Israelites that He'd go forth before them into battle at the city of Ai (a city of about 3,000 people), to give them the victory. God told them not to take any spoils or else they'd lose the victory. Albeit, one of their men named Achor sinned by disobeying the Lord. Achan became greedy and when he laid eyes upon some nice clothing, silver and gold... he stole them and buried them in his tent. As a consequence Israel was defeated at the battle of Ai. They were humiliated. God told them that someone had sinned in the camp. So Joshua sets out to find out who the guilty man is.
The following story picks up after the Lord just told Joshua why Israel lost the Battle. One man sinned, and now they want to find out who. So Joshua questions each soldier, one at a time, until they find out who has sinned against the Lord. ...
Joshua 7:19-26, “And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”
Joshua commanded (at the Word of the Lord) for Achan and his family (sons and daughters), and his animals (sheep, donkeys and oxen), and everything he owned (including his tent and all the furnishings) to be burned and a heap of stones raised up over Achan and his family, and all that he had owned—as a testimony for future generations!!! Their kitchen utensils were burned. Their shoes were burned. All traces of Achan and his family were destroyed. Can you imagine?
There was nothing cheerful about the Valley of Achor. Achan's body was buried here. Over generations to come, every Israelite who passed by that pile of rubble would be reminded “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Number 32:23). “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). Achan and his loved ones were all stoned to death and buried under this pile of rubble. What good could ever come from this heap of stones? There was so much pain, so much senseless loss of life, so much misery.
Ah, my friend, only God knows how much good came from this heap of stones. This valley of trouble will be a door of hope. Gomer's darkest today's will be her brightest yesterdays. These heap of stones are a blessing because that little heap of stones reminds Israel not to sin. The sins of yesterday and the judgment of yesterday, brought before us today, prevents sins tomorrow, and reminds us that God punishes sin. And so this place of trouble and heartache for Achan and his family, becomes a door of hope to future generations who learn from its dreadful meaning. God always punished sin.
The Valley Of Achor (MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles, 1926-2001)
If God can make a heap of stones into a door of hope, then He can do the same for us. God can take lemons and make lemonade. Hosea loved his wife Gomer, but she left him to become a prostitute. Gomer's life became as the Valley of Achor, that is, a pile of rubble and destruction. Gomer destroyed her own life and that of Hosea and the children as well. And now decades later we find Hosea shopping at the market one day and he overhears Gomer's name, and sees her face, being sold as a slave on the slave market. Hosea immediately starts bidding and buys her back. Hosea said...
Hosea 2:15, “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.”
Years ago Gomer had walked out the door. Hosea was in the Valley of Achor for decades. That door was a place of trouble. But now Gomer is back and those days of trouble can be sweet days if they'll spend their remaining days in the will of God. Now old and broken, Hosea takes Gomer back home and says they're going to make their Valley of Achor a door of hope. Their wasted lives became a Valley of Achor, but now it can become a door of hope if you'll let it in God's will.
Everyone has memories of troubled days, but God can turn them into a door of hope. Buried beneath the heap of stones was Achan and his entire life, destroyed utterly (Joshua 7:19-26)! Achan's life was gone, gone, gone! What good could ever come from preserving a pile of stones atop Achan's destroyed world? Only God knows how many thousands of lives had been blessed because they saw the pile of rubble (grave) of Achan and his family, and it compelled them to live right in the Lord. Achan's calamity meant a door of hope for thousands of others.
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James 5:11, "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
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