Door of Hope

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, I will lead her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, 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. And it shall be, in that day, says the LORD, That you will call Me My Husband, and no longer call Me My Master… (Hosea 2:14-16)

Did you notice the door of hope in the above scripture? A door of hope is to be given there in the wilderness, in the desert; the Valley of Achor given as a door of hope. “Achor” in Hebrew means “trouble”. How could there be a door of hope in a valley of trouble?

The Valley of Achor {Trouble} was the scene of national disaster; the place where the victory over Jericho was negated by the sin of one man, Achan. The place where Achan was stoned for his sin and stones heaped, naming it the valley of trouble, Achor (Joshua 7:26). Even stranger than a door of hope given in a valley of trouble is that, this valley of trouble is a place of singing; a place where the Lord allures His Bride to become her husband. There is a very similar thing in the following verses.

Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; Burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; Because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the LORD. … For your Maker is your husband, the LORD Almighty is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. … Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
(Isaiah 54:1, 5, 10)

The barren woman is told to sing, to burst into song and shout for joy and promised many children with her husband, the Lord. This seems like a very strange thing to tell someone who is barren. In those days, to be barren was to appear to be cursed of God, a very desolate place to be. Singing is the last thing one would feel like doing in a desolate, dry, barren place, in a valley of trouble. Just as I was thinking this I remembered my article ‘The Triumph of Praise’ and that praising the Lord with a voice of triumph invites Him into the situation. It also intimidates the enemy and motivates God’s people to look to Christ and move forward in His victory. Could this also be how a door of hope is opened in the desert or valley of trouble? Consider these verses in Psalm 84.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah. How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca {Weeping} they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. … For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather be a doorkeeper and stand at the threshold {entrance} of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!
(Psalm 84:4-7, 10-12)

The blessed, those who dwell in the Lord’s house; these are ever praising, these have the highways to Zion in their hearts. They know how to pass through the valley of Baca {Weeping} to appear before the King’s throne in Zion (Psalm 132:13-18). They seem to know not only how to find this door of hope in the valley of weeping or trouble, but also know how to open it and stand in the threshold {entrance} before the King. There also seems to be a doorkeeper here in this passage.

I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the door is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep…
(John 10:1-3, 7)

This doorkeeper knows the Shepherd of the sheep, the King, and has the ability to open the door for the King to come in and lead His flock. Jesus is the door, but who might these doorkeepers be and what might the key be to opening the door allowing the King to come in to lead His flock? These doorkeepers, these that dwell in the house of the Lord, they are ever praising and singing unto the Lord. The gates in the house of the Lord seem to be gates of praise (Isaiah 60:18; 2 Chronicles 31:2; 1 Chronicles 23:30; Psalm 100:4). The praise, singing and thanksgiving unto to the Lord of the pure in heart seems to be a key opening the door for the King of glory to come in.

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. … Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
(Psalm 24:3-4, 7)

David knew how to use this key of praise, singing and thanksgiving to open the door to the King and appear before His throne. He also seemed to know that by opening the door through praise, the King would be made visible for others to be led.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
(Psalm 27:4-6)

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.
(Psalm 40:1-3)

From the NetBible; Sacrifices with joy and praise to our God, both have the idea of giving a thank offering. What exactly is a thank offering? Psalm 100 gives us a good idea. The Amplified version reads: A Psalm of thanksgiving and for the thank offering.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing! Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

A sacrifice offered to the Lord with a voice of thanksgiving, a thank offering includes giving thanks, hymns of praise, declarative praise, confession, testimony and making a joyful sound to the Lord! Psalm 100 is filled with the sound of thanksgiving, with the sound of a thank offering. Notice what happens to Jonah after he prays and offers a sacrifice with the voice/sound of thanksgiving to the Lord. He is freed from the belly of the whale! The Lord makes a way of deliverance from death to life for Jonah; a way where there is no way!

When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple. Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
(Jonah 2:7-10)

The valley of Achor, even though it was named the valley of trouble because of Achan, was a plentiful valley. It gave great comfort to the Lord’s people who were being delivered from Egypt. The valley of Achor is called the door of hope, because as the Lord’s people were delivered up from Egypt they passed through this valley at the very threshold of Canaan, going from desolation/ death to new life. Jonah’s deliverance paints a very similar picture. Singing with the voice of thanksgiving seems to be a key to passing through the door of hope from death to new life and restoration. Singing with the voice of thanksgiving is also the voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride. “And it shall be, in that day, says the LORD, That you will call Me My Husband, and no longer call Me My Master…”

[Once again will] … the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first, says the LORD.
(Jeremiah 33:11)

Looking through the eyes of the Lord the desert can be beautiful place; a place where the Bridegroom allures the Bride and speaks tenderly to her; a place where the Bride is cared for and guarded as the apple of the Bridegroom’s eye beneath His wings and a place where the Bride is married to the Lord and calls Him My Husband.
In the desert, in this unlikely place, the Lord’s voice speaks comfort, hope and new life. It is here that the Lord is awaiting His Bride.

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of his eye, Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.
(Deuteronomy 32:10-11)

COME! Surrender all unto the LORD, worship Him with complete abandon, lift up your head with the voice of thanksgiving and see the open door placed before you. The Lord is awaiting His dove; His Bride.

…I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
(Isaiah 43:1)

I said, Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest- I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.
(Psalm 55:6-8)