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Day 19

When God Makes a Valley into a Door

by René Schlaepfer

Read Hosea 2:15-23

There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. [Hosea 2:15a]

In Hosea 2:15 God says I will make the valley of Achor a door of hope. The Hebrew word achor means “trouble.” So in the original language, God is saying, “I will make the valley of trouble into a door of hope.”

What’s the story behind that verse? In the book of Hosea, God talks about the wayward nation of Israel in a love poem, using the metaphor of marriage. He portrays himself as a loving husband, and Israel as a promiscuous wife. At this point in history Israel was abandoning worship of God for the idols of Baal, a cult that included ritual prostitution and drunkenness. “She went after lovers, but me she forgot,” God sadly sings. He asks the reader to imagine the emotions of such a husband — there is anger and a sense of betrayal, but there is also love, and a longing for the beautiful woman he knows is hidden beneath the debauchery. God says this is how He yearns to be reunited with Israel — and with anyone who has abandoned him for sin.

God’s plan: To lead Israel away from the lush lands around the Jordan river and into the desert, the valley of Achor. This happened historically when the nation was booted into the wilderness by invading armies. As a people, they hit bottom. But God says that there, in the “Valley of Trouble,” He will once again court His bride. I will speak tenderly to her… and I will make the valley of trouble a door of hope.

Don’t miss it: God is saying it’s that very trouble itself that He will use as a door of hope. How many times have you prayed for loved ones, that God would show them their need of Him? So God leads them toward the Valley of Trouble. And then you want to step in and keep them from the valley!

Or how many times have you wondered if your own tough times were a sign God no longer loved you? But in fact they’re a gift of love from God. It’s when we hit bottom that we hear God’s voice more clearly.

So if you feel you’re living in Achor, don’t give up! Look around: In that dark valley, there is a portal through which you will see blue skies again. Listen to God today as He whispers tender words of love to you from that doorway and woos you back to Him.

Question to Consider

How have I seen a “valley of trouble” turn into a “door of hope”? How does “hitting bottom” open my ears to God’s voice again?


God, thank You for Your love for me even though I have been unfaithful to You. Help me see the door of hope in my valley of trouble.