2017-05-28 A Doorway Of Hope

510 5-28-17 Doyle A Doorway Of Hope

We’re going to go back to that verse in Joshua. Joshua is toward the front of the book. Chapter 7 verse 1. I’m using the New American Standard again today. “But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.” Now, just to catch up on this, what is actually going on here is Achan, a lot of us have heard of the guy before, but Achan comes along and he is with the children of Israel. He is of the tribe of Judah which turns out to be the tribe that Jesus comes out of. He is of the tribe of Judah and they’ve come across the Jordan River. The river is split. He’s seen the miracles of God. As they’re going over God says to him once they camp outside the walls of Jericho, God said to Joshua, now Joshua, when this all comes down and it all falls apart I have been giving these people plenty of time.

These are my words, not God’s, so don’t try to find all of these words in the Bible, but He says they had 40 years of seeing Me treat you and how well I treated you and how I took care of you as My chosen people. They have had plenty of time to repent. So, there were people who came to trust in God during those 40 years. Rahab and her family were spared because they trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But He said now, when this all comes down and the walls fall and you go in there everything has got to be destroyed. Everything. Literally everything is to be destroyed, and if it’s gold or silver you’re to put it into the treasury of the temple of the tabernacle. You are to take everything else and burn it. All the upholstery, all the silk robes. Everything that is there is to be killed and burned. I want it completely destroyed. That’s called the ban. I was reading here and it talks about Achan. He took some stuff that was under the ban and like it says nothing, absolutely nothing, was to be kept by the people of God, the chosen people. It was under a ban and yet Achan saw it and if you were to read the rest of this chapter you’ll find where God says somebody took something that was from under the ban.

So, He starts having the people come forward and they find stuff raided out and Achan is caught. He had taken some silk robes from the Babylons. He had taken some gold and he had taken some silver and he had hid them in his tent. Now, it sounds bad because he said that God said since he took something that was to be utterly destroyed under that ban he had to pay the same price. So, just like a rebel that was in Jericho they had rebelled and refused to trust in God, Achan had refused to trust in God and he and his family were stoned to death and then they and their bodies and all their livestock and everything they owned including their tent, everything was burnt, completely destroyed and done away with. Whoo, this sounds really rough but God is trying to communicate to the people right then I’m taking this very, very, very seriously. I did bring you out of Egypt, you remember that? I brought you guys out of Egypt and your parents and your grandparents built that golden calf. I didn’t bring you out of Egypt to not listen to Me and My directions. I’m here to talk to you and I’m here to lead you. I’m going to be your God, you’re going to be my people and you will learn to listen to what I tell you because it’s imperative.

Not only was He actually causing these people to live for themselves and be trained in His way, He was going to use the children of Israel, the chosen people of the time, He was going to use them to communicate to the rest of the world the greatness of God, and one of the things that He did get communicated was that He was a God of mercy. Of all the people that were wiped out on the day of Jericho’s demise the family of Rahab was spared because she had come to an understanding of the greatness of this God. Now, this is the judgment that falls and like I said it sounds very, very, very severe, but I want you to know that this is a place where we need to enter into. We need to come to an understanding because it’s going to become a place of blessing for us. Now, his name was Achan and this happened in the valley of Achor. Whenever he and his family met their demise they built a great big pile of rocks over it so people would always remember this. This valley was actually supposed to be a place that was fertile, but it was named after Achan and it was named Achor and it means the valley of Achan.

So, this position, well, I’ll just tell you. The word Achan and the word Achor actually means in Hebrew trouble. The guy’s name was trouble. My grandparents used to have a dog named trouble. I don’t know why. I’m sure it was an aggravating dog. This guys name was trouble and the valley was named after him. It’s the valley of trouble, but as the years passed by if we go to the Book of Hosea, that’s a prophet way back toward the back of the Old Testament. The Book of Hosea is chapter 2 verse 14-15 and listen to what it says there. Verse 14 and 15. Before I do that let me put this into some context. Chapter 1 through chapter 2 previous to all this stuff, what’s happened is Hosea has been told by God. He says Hosea, I want you to go out and do something. To me this was always highly unusual and this made me scratch my head when I first started reading about this years and years ago.

He tells this guy I want you to go out on a street corner and find a prostitute and then I want you to marry her. Whoa. Yeah. And God said there’s a reason for this. You just do what tell you and Hosea goes out and he finds this lady and he marries her, and then he starts having kids with her and it turns out he’s naming the kids things like That Ain’t Mine and You Ain’t Either because this lady did not remain faithful to Hosea. Even though he was a good guy and a good husband to her she did not remain faithful to him. So, as this goes on God is pointing out the failure of the children of Israel and what He is actually saying here is the people were looking and saying too bad. I don’t understand. Hosea is such a good guy and he treats this lady like she’s a trophy, I mean like she’s a princess. He really goes out of his way to be nice to her and look how she treats him, and as this registers with the people within the city where Hosea is living God finally comes out and says okay, people, this is the whole point. This was an object lesson. I brought you all, the whole city and all the people of Israel, all the people of Judah, I brought you all out of Egypt and I treated you like a princess.

I provided for you. I gave you food, I gave you clothes. I made sure that when you walked out of Egypt you had all this gold and silver and fine cloth. I took care of you for 40 years in the wilderness. I gave you meat. I gave you water when you were thirsty. I gave you a great place to live. I put you in a land flowing with milk and honey. I provided for you and you were not faithful to Me from the get go. I brought you out of Egypt, you built a golden calf. I brought you across the river Jordan and Achan over there was stealing stuff from Me. From the very beginning you guys were not acting like my chosen people and He starts this litany of things that’s going bad. You’ve done this, you’ve done that, you’ve done this naming one after the other and it goes on down and finally, I want to jump back to Joshua, and that is what God was doing in the Book of Joshua. He is saying look, I’m ticked because I was good to you and look, you guys have stolen from Me, you’re responsible for this, and when I say his family was wiped out, I don’t actually think there were little kids involved in this because there is a place in Deuteronomy where it says you’re going to hold kids responsible for the things that their parents did.

The kids of Achan were old enough to know what was going on and they didn’t come forward and say oh, by the way, Joshua, my dad, was over there and he took some stuff. They were in on it with him. They were over there digging a hole. They were over there covering it under the tent flooring so nobody would know it. They were keeping his secret. They were cooperating with him so they had to pay the rice and that’s what He is listing through Hosea. He is going all this stuff you guys have cooperated in and now I’m looking at you going you haven’t been a faithful group of people. So, we get to Hosea chapter 2 verse 14 and the first word He says after he tells all the stuff, she’s followed lovers so she’s forgotten Me declares the Lord. That was in 13. Therefore, and it’s like uh-oh. He’s telling them all the problems that they have caused Him and the heartache that they have caused Him and He says therefore because you’ve taken other lovers, therefore because you’ve forsaken Me, “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.”

Remember when they first got out of the land of Egypt they crossed over the Red Sea? Miriam, we talked about this. Miriam and the ladies had the timbrels and they had the musical instruments. They came prepared and they sang. They sang to the glory of the Lord. They were there singing and praising God and He lists all the stuff. This is what you’ve done. This is what you’ve done. This is what you’ve done. In the Book of Joshua this is what you’ve done. Therefore, judgment. But here in Hosea He goes this is what you’ve done. This is what you’ve done, but there’s coming a day that I will allure you in. I will call you and I will take you down to the valley of Achor. I will lead you into that place and it will become a door of hope. The valley of trouble will become the door of hope for these people. He’s saying I will call you in the future. What’s going on here? How come He didn’t jump on them flatfooted like He did in the Book of Joshua? Because in the Book of Hosea God is showing Hosea to look into the future and what has happened in the future that changes the whole equation is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came and He paid the price for everybody’s sins. He paid that price and He said you’ve done all these things that’s very, very wrong, but the day is coming that I’m going to allure you in, bring you into that valley of trouble, that place where Achan was judged but to you it’s going to become a door of hope.

That’s a prophecy. A valley is a low place. I don’t know about you but I like it when I’m high on the mountain top and I can see and He says this is a low place, but it will become instead of a low place, a place of trouble, it’s going to become a door of opening, a place of hope. Now, quite literally this is a hermeneutical principle. This is a literal prophecy that is going to be fulfilled to the children of Israel. It could be fulfilled in our time but He is basically saying this, sometime after the Messiah comes you’re going to be in a world of hurt and you’re going to be going into this valley of trouble. It’s going to be a low place in the life of the children of Israel. There prophecy that there’s coming a time in the future right before Christ’s second coming that’s going to be called the troubling of Jacob and there’s never been a time like it and there will never be another time like it, and all the horrendous things that we’ve read about in the Book of the Revelation, the Book of Daniel and other prophecies that are made, this is going to be a terrible time. A terrible time to be alive and He is saying you’re going to be taken in, you’re going to be lured in and it’s going to be a terrible time.

A time of trouble for the nation, but when you get into this valley I’m going to be there and it’s going to become a place of hope. This low place where the nation of Israel will become a place of hope. Now, there is only one literal interpretation and that’s it. The children of Israel are going to end up in a very bad position and God will deliver them. That is your hermeneutical principle. There is only one interpretation, but there are several applications. This is when you take the information you’ve got and you say how can I apply this to my life? Well, here it is. Anytime we get ourselves into a world of hurt, anytime even if it’s our own fault we get into a very low place and we’re in a world of trouble, we’re in the valley of trouble, we’re in Achan’s position when the judgment of God is going to fall or we feel like the judgment of God is coming upon us, right when we’re in that position God says because of Christ I will open that up and it will become a door of hope. There’s an unusual thing about the Hebrew word for hope. The Greek word which we’ve gone on and on about for the last 4-1/2 years hope is something that you absolutely know is going to happen, a positive that’s in your future, but you have not yet experienced it.

The word hope here in the Hebrew has a different connotation with it. It’ actually the word for a cord that is attached to something. He’s saying I’m going to give you a hope and this hope is attached to something. You’re not going to be blown away. You’re not going to be cut adrift. You are going to be attached to something and that something is Jesus Christ. He is going to pull you in, pull you through this door of hope so it’s a guarantee. He’s there pulling and saying you’ve got hope, keep coming this way, keep coming this way, and there’s this doorway and it’s going to be to us a place of hope, a place of redemption, a place of positiveness. That’s why we as Christians even though our lives sometimes get slammed down real hard we keep bouncing back up. We’re buoyant. We’re just whoosh. We’re right back up. Even if the troubles are caused by ourselves, or if the trouble is caused by others upon us, or it’s a disease or something that has taken us He says during the valley of trouble there is a door there and it is a door of hope for you because of Jesus Christ. Sometimes you can say but Doyle, I’m in this valley, or if you’re not there now you will be. Doyle, I’m in a valley and I’m lost. The devil is standing there saying you are so lost. You are so rejected.

You know what makes that a good statement when the devil is telling you that is because you can say fine. Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. I’m lost. He is looking for me. Take that. I’m hungry. He came to feed. He came to feed the 5000. He came to feed the 4000. He broke the break and He fed His disciples. I’m hungry. Devil, he’s coming to feed me. You can say I don’t have anything. I’m just almost to the point of being naked. It says that He came to clothe the people with righteousness. He didn’t come to bring clothes to those people who have got self-righteousness. He came to those people who realized they needed something. They’ve got rags to live in and He is willing to give them something. I’m so alone Doyle. I am so alone I feel forsaken. God says that Jesus came that we would never be alone nor would we be ever forsaken. But Doyle, I’m there at that place and it’s a horrible place to live in. It’s a horrible place to be in. Yes, but because we are in that place of trouble, because we are in that valley we know that God and Jesus are there looking for us and here in Hosea He has promised us a hope and a door, and a door is an opening. A door is an opening.

But Doyle, the door is closed. What am I supposed to do? The door is shut in my face. You know what it says in the Bible? Knock, knock, and keep on knocking. Just knock and knock and knock and knock and knock and knock and eventually the door will open for us. You say but Doyle, the door is not opening. After awhile if your knocking hasn’t done anything just be real quiet and listen because there’s another scripture in there and it says, “Behold,” Jesus is talking, “Behold, I stand at the door, and (I) knock.” So, it could be that the door that you’re facing isn’t a door that swings out toward God. It’s a door that swings toward you and the reason the door is not opening, have you guys ever been to stores and you try to go in the in door and you run into the out door and you’re like plunk. Okay, I stand there, we’ve only got the one door at the store and people try to go in it by pushing and I’m going snicker, snicker, snicker and they’re rrrr and I’m going pull the door. That’s what we’re getting at here is sometimes the door that we’re at is a door that we need to open.

He says, “I stand at the door, and knock,” and if anyone opens, “I will come in to him.”Sometimes the door isn’t of His making. It’s not shut from His side. It’s shut from our side and we need to be the people to say alright, God, Jesus is knocking. I’ve knocked and knocked and knocked. I’m going to open the door from my side and I’m going to let Your light shine on my troubles, on the things that I did wrong. I’m going to let You shine Your light on me and the things that I’ve sinned about, the things that I have failed in, the problems that I have got, the ones that I have created, God, I’m opening the door so that Jesus can come in to the places and illuminate all the areas of darkness and failure. I’m not going to try to cover it up from You anymore. I’m going to let You come in and You deal with it. I’m going to let You come into my life and provide the clothes. I’m going to let You find me. I’m going to open this door so that You can come through. It’s a doorway of hope and sometimes we need to knock because it’s somebody else’s problem that is causing us the trouble and we knock and say Jesus, open the door so I can go through and get out of this. He opens the door. Sometimes we’re at the door and we’re knocking and it seems closed. It’s because we’re keeping it jammed shut. We really don’t want Him to see our failures and our sins but at that point we need to open that door of hope up and say I want to get out of this trouble.

Jesus hears my faults, hears my confessions, hears my troubles and He will say I’m here for you. I was waiting for you to open up to Me so that I could come in and deal with your problems. Not the problems of the people that some people have that is driving you, but rather you’ve got problems that I want to deal with. So, when we come to the valley of Achor because of Christ we’ve got this attached hope. We’ve got where He is standing there with us and He says I will pull you through this door. Sometimes we knock and knock and knock and knock and He opens it. Sometimes we’ve got to stop and see if He is the one that’s knocking and if He is knocking we need to open the door and let Him into our lives, and we bob up. We will be like Christ. We can be held down and I’m not just talking about that last future day when the dead in Christ shall rise and will always be with the Lord. I’m not talking just about that. He will raise us up continually. Bob up. We’re buoyant. Bob up. We’re buoyant. We’re shoved down. We bob back up and there are people who do not like to see us as Christians continually bobbing back up.

We’ve got a door of hope and anytime we’re in that valley we’re right where we can be blessed. We’re right there and the devil is saying you’re in trouble and you can say yes, I’m in the valley of trouble but in this valley is a doorway of hope and I’m not listening to you anymore. I’m listening for that knock on the door and if I come to the door and the door is shut I’m going to knock on the door and ask Him to open it up for me. We can start learning to laugh. We can start enjoying our lives and even though we can say hey, I’m in this valley, once we realize we are in that valley and we say there is a doorway here for me. Somewhere there’s a doorway here for me and I’m going to go through it. I’m going to go through it. I have got hope. We can start enjoying and say Christ will deliver me. Positive statement. Christ is going to because He has made a promise to me and He does not lie. People will say, you know, this person acts like they’ve got an oil well in their backyard. No matter what happens to them it’s just like boom, something springs up and they’re blessed again and again and again and they’ve always got this positive attitude. I’ve seen them beaten down and yet they bob back up to the surface. Even in our hardest times we have a doorway of hope.