The Valley of Achor

There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope (Hos. 2:15).
 The story of Israel gives us a picture of the Christian life. It starts of in Egypt, they are tested and sanctified in the Wilderness, and they attain to the promise in Canaan. Similarly, we start off in slavery to sin and are sanctified through the wilderness trials of this life, but at the same time we are already in Christ (Eph. 2:6), the fulfillment of the promise. Our purpose is for our position in Christ to be come our reality. However, there are times when we fail in the Valley of Achor.

Israel fought their first battle against Jericho in the promised land and won, but they lost miserably in their second battle with Ai. Joshua cried out to God concerned that they had come all this way only to be destroyed, but God said, "Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned." Achan had taken some of the devoted things (Josh. 7:10-12) and hid them in his tent. This brought trouble on all of Israel.
And Joshua said, "Why do you bring trouble on us? The LORD brings trouble on you today." and all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.
In the Valley of Achor, Israel sinned and brought trouble on themselves but God used Israel's failing to open a door of hope to the Jews and Gentiles. "Rather through their [Israel] trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel  jealous (Rom. 11:11)." Unlike Israel we do not live in shadows, but in the light of knowing the door of hope.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:19-20).


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