Friday, July 11, 2014
Driven Into the Wilderness
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the
land of Egypt."
I have been reading portions from the Old Testament book of Hosea in my devotions this past week. For biblical scholars, the theme of the book of Hosea is "Redeeming Love", primarily God's redemption of the nation of Israel...who has been likened to an adulterous wife. I will not attempt to interpret the book here...that is not my purpose and I am no scholar. But the point was made in my readings that in this particular passage in Hosea, God is leading Israel into the desert (wilderness) with the tenderness of a husband who tenderly loves his wife even though she has been unfaithful. His purpose in driving her there is to bring her to a place of restoration and redemption.
It caused me to pause and think about how often in my life God has led me into a type of "wilderness" or desert of soul and spirit so that He could "speak comfort" to me. It seems as though the wilderness would be the last place we would expect to find comfort and healing...and yet that is where He leads us so that we can focus our eyes completely on Him.
This reminds me of a couple of other Bible verses that have often ministered to my bruised and battered heart:
"Be still, and know that I AM God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge."
"The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul..."
I like the part in the Hosea passage that said "I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor (which literally means "trouble") as a door of hope;" That sort of reminds me of the title of my blog, "Closed Doors, Open Windows"...when doors are closed to us because of "trouble" or sorrow, when we
"walk through the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4), "I will fear no evil; for YOU (God) are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
When we walk through the desert times of our lives, God gives us a "door of hope"...He comforts us. And Hosea says "She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth..." Not only will she be restored and comforted, but she will actually be able to sing again...which to me is a message of triumph and victory! Singing comes from a heart that is joyful because it has been healed and revived from the valley of trouble and sorrow.
I can feel a song of hope and joy bubbling up from within my soul.
How about you? Have you been driven into the wilderness and walked through the Valley of Achor in your life? Have you found that door of hope and comfort that God is opening for you? If not, "be still and Know" that God is with you. Soon you may find that you are able to sing again too. I sincerely hope so.
You might even be able to walk on the water!
Have a joyful day my friend.