Hosea is one of the books with which I have a prickly relationship. I feel frustrated and angry at Gomer for her treatment of Hosea. Why doesn’t she just open her eyes and see the way she is treating him, I often mutter. He keeps returning again and again, drawing her back home, showing love and mercy to her.
I wrestle with my feelings, since I am well aware that I am Gomer and the Lord is Hosea when I look back at who I used to be before Christ. I could not see the beautiful sweetness in Hosea 11:4, I led them with cords of kindness, with bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them (ESV). I was annoyed by the cords and the bands, the yokes and sense of confinement. I could only sense that I was bound and not free.
In Hosea 2, God is speaking of His love and kindness for Israel;
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her in to 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 it he days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the and of Egypt (Hosea 2:14-15, ESV).
The Valley of Achor or The Valley of Trouble (see Joshua 7:26 for original story) is changed with the Lord’s actions. He says The Valley of Trouble will become a door of hope. Taking Israel (The Bride) away from the sorrow, the trouble, into the wilderness, the Lord is moving to change the scenery, but also to change the heart.
We often find ourselves in the valleys and wonder how we got there. What wrong turn did we take? Were we supposed to go left instead of right? We may not have made the wrong choice, it could be someone in our lives who made the wrong choice and the ripples have hit us.
Whatever we have done to get to The Valley of Achor, we don’t have to stay there. There is a way out of trouble and into hope.
We respond when God calls to us. We follow Him and we let go of what we are holding onto and take hold of Him.
And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,” and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered no more. . .And I will betrothed you to me forever. I will broth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness And you shall know the LORD (Hosea 2:16, 19-20, ESV).
We don’t have to be like Gomer, wandering around in darkness, lost in the lies of false gods, caught in trouble, without hope. We can turn to God. It just requires us to respond to Him when He calls to us.
Admittedly, giving up control is the hardest thing I have done. I have to do it daily, in fact. Yet when my hands are empty, my soul is filled. I am no longer rushing about to find the way to keep my plates spinning, my world turning. God, my Lord, has it all.
Where are you today, Best Beloved? Are you standing with soul filled by the Holy presence of God? Aware that He is with you to draw you into hope and an everlasting covenant? Are you standing in The Valley of Achor? Wondering how to climb out of the darkness? Longing to feel the light on your cheek again?
Don’t wait. Don’t waste time. Listen, our Heavenly Father is calling you, calling me. Hosea’s story ends with A plea to return to the LORD (ch. 14). We are wayward children, God is calling us home. Calling us to hope only He can give.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them (Hosea 14:9, ESV).