“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-15 NASB
Wilderness. 294 times it’s mentioned in scripture. Nobody wants to go there. Nobody other than John the Baptist ever desired to live there. It’s not where the majority of life takes place, but it’s where the LORD chooses to accomplish many great things for His glory. And these wilderness experiences often come when we least think they’re appropriate. Gomer, the prophet Hosea’s wayward wife, and the nation of Israel least expected a wilderness experience, but they quickly found themselves allured into it when their jealous husband refused to let his beloved go and belong to a stranger.
Gomer and the nation of Israel both began to look around when they found themselves a little dissatisfied. Life didn’t seem fulfilling and spicy with excitement, so they began to watch others to see what they did to “find enjoyment”. We do it, too. We feel like our relationship with Jesus is in a slump so we remodel our houses, go shopping, travel, dye our hair and workout to look like the latest super model, who has never had any kids by the way, and we still come up blah! We slowly eek ourselves away from Jesus and before we know it, we’ve lost our focus. We’ve so easily given our hearts to someone or something else, and now we’re more miserable than before. It’s the wilderness! It’s where He can get us alone and speak kindly to us. He knows the things we need to be reassured of. It’s not a new story, and the LORD’s not an amateur at dealing with this type of situation. Some more refreshing news…He is not going to let you stay gone for long!
He’ll be sure that you won’t get any satisfaction in anyone or anything else like you will when you are with Him. Do you see the discontentment grow with every new thing or person you try to fill your void with? It’s because He’s hedging your way up with thorns (See Hosea 2:6-7) so you’ll return to Him. He’s a fierce fighter. Many strangers will try to steal your heart or get you to give up, but they’ll only try it once because He’s not a force to be reckoned with when it comes to your heart. (See Nahum 1:9)
He won’t let you go! You’ll go through a lot with Him, but He’s out to get your heart back and keep it for good. And when He does, your wilderness and valley of Achor (valley of trouble) will then become your greatest blessing aside from the moment you trusted Jesus as your LORD and Savior. He’s very protective of you and your love for Him. Make sure you never let that truth leave you. Jesus has it inscribed on the palms of His hands. (See Isa. 49:16) You always fill his thoughts.
Jesus, thank you for loving me with a love that won’t let me go. I’m having a hard time believing that you really love me this much even though I know you loved me enough to take the punishment of death for my sins. Forgive my unbelief, help me to believe. Heal my waywardness and ignite within me a white hot passion for loving and walking with you. Make me genuine and true to you. In Your name, I pray and ask this. Amen.