The Door of Hope
by Sue Towne
Recently I’ve been meditating in the second chapter of Hosea. The last half of that chapter has formed the paradigm for my personal life as a believer in Yeshua for over 20 years now. Many times the words in this chapter have anchored my soul.
When I meditate or study scripture, I like to dig around the original Hebrew or Greek a bit. And when I do so, I often find hidden treasure. So it is with Hosea 2: 14-15. I want to share with you an application focused on the primary interpretation of this passage—the spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel.
Starting in verse 14, the LORD God of Israel speaks beginning with the word, “therefore.” He has just spent the prior 15 verses describing the heartbreaking spiritual harlotry of Israel and the punishment that she will receive for it. It’s a passage filled with the emotional pain of angry judgment coming from a heart of love betrayed.
And then “therefore”—but what are we expecting here? More of the same? More pain-filled words? The LORD changes His tone utterly. He speaks of alluring this unfaithful one into a wilderness place—a place of solitude, where there are no distractions. In this place will He finally destroy her? No. He says He will “speak kindly to her.”
In the remarkable sequence of verse 15 He gives her “her vineyards” and “the Valley of Achor as a door of hope.” The result is that she sings there as in the days of her youth when she first came up from Egypt in the Exodus. In this verse, we see the tenderness of God’s heart revealed, the God who takes what was meant for evil and turns it for good.
A valley is quite literally a “low place.” When we speak of being “in the valley,” we refer to a place of difficulty and trial. But this valley is more difficult than most to traverse. The word “Achor” means in Hebrew “roiling waters, troubling, afflicted.” It’s meant to convey a picture of the worst kind of turbulence, like riding the most extreme rapids on a flood-stage river. It’s a place of terror and high danger.
And the God of Israel says to His covenant people, “I will make that place of violence and terror—that lowest place in your life—a door of hope.” This phrase “door of hope” in Hebrew is a colorful phrase. The Hebrew word translated “hope” is tikvah, which in its root meaning pictures a cord attached to the thing longed for.
What a marvelous scene! Israel is struggling in the turbulent flood waters of the valley, but instead of watching her destruction passively, God throws her a lifeline. He gives her hope that she will escape this terrible valley. And in the midst of all this, He gives her “her vineyards,” her places of fruitful ministry and spiritual prosperity. The poetic form of this prophecy links the prosperity of those vineyards to the rescue from destruction.
Of course, we can apply this same picture to our own lives as individual believers. But in context, God was speaking this to Israel, yes? It strikes me as a verse very much for today. Israel is being forced more and more into a narrow place of no escape where the threat of violence is ever-present. In this Valley of Achor the people of Israel are buffeted increasingly by a flood of turbulence and fear from all sides—internally from the Intifada and externally by the nations of the world.
But in the midst of this fear, the God of Israel is throwing the people of the Land a lifeline—a door of hope. This door, I believe, is a move of the Spirit of God that begins in Israel and spreads over the whole earth. “Here is your escape hatch, Israel! Here is your ark of safety in the midst of the raging flood—Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel. Yeshua, your Redeemer and King. Open your eyes and see Him. Recognize Him who called Himself ‘the door.’ Take hold of this Rope and let Him pull you to safety!”
And this is the ministry of Messianic Vision: to offer that Rope to Israel wherever we encounter her. Pray, saints! Pray that the eyes of Jewish people all over the world, but especially in Israel, would be open to see the Door of Hope.
—Sue Towne, Messianic Vision International Prayer Coordinator
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.