May 18 I Friday

1 Chronicles 4-6

John 6:1-21


“I...will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
—Hosea 2:15


Over Achan’s body, the people heaped a large pile of rocks and ever since, the area became known as the “Valley of Achor.” Achan’s sin had tarnished the spiritual life and integrity of Israel, but in this God says, “I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”

The hope is that our sin can be dealt with. The defeat that has permeated our lives and the humiliation of exposure becomes a door of hope, because when it wakes us up to the truth and brings it to the surface, God can do something with it. The judgment of God was upon Achan, but the discipline of God was upon the nation. Punishment is an end in itself, but discipline is remedial and designed to produce something far better. Hebrews 12:5-6 says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline…because the Lord disciplines the one He loves…”

The discipline of God is an expression of His love, and will yield what Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV) refers to as “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” After they had named the Valley of Achor, the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land” (Joshua 8:1). Once we have dealt with our sin, God is saying do not sit under a cloud over this. Do not be discouraged. Go back to the very area of your defeat, and there you will find a God who is active and present.

Defeat is never final unless we keep our sin hidden. It is because God is love that He judges, and this is why the cross of Jesus Christ is necessary and central to the Christian message. If you want to know what God thinks of sin, look at the cross of Christ. There you will see the judgment of God fully addressed and satisfied.

Campbell Morgan, a great preacher of a century ago, wrote, “If you could persuade me that God could deal with sin lightly, you could, by that argument, prove to me that He is no lover of the human soul.” We cannot separate the judgment of God from the love of God. Under the New Covenant, of which we are a part, all the judgment of God was poured out on His Son and that judgment was met in full. If we are to be rightly aligned with God, we must deal with our sin, and bring it humbly to the cross of Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the hope we have in You. I ask that you keep me aware of my sin and coming in humble repentance to the cross of Christ. Thank You, Lord.

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