What’s up with this wilderness? Why do I find myself in the dry, desolate, barren place? The Bible says that the Lord, my Maker, is my husband (Isaiah 54:5). If that indeed is the case, then what’s up with the Wilderness Motel? God Himself actually answers this question! In the second chapter of Hosea, God describes the desperate condition from which He has redeemed us and how He plans to make us whole. He lays out His honeymoon itinerary: “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. In that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘my husband,’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ ” (Hosea 2:14-16 TNIV)
The Wilderness Motel certainly seems like an unappealing and unlikely place to spend a honeymoon, but God says that He Himself has chosen that location to allure and woo us to Himself. If I really think about it, there’s nothing else in the wilderness to distract me. There, in the dry and desolate wasteland, the glory and beauty of the Lord is all that is available to me. Isn’t that what His heart really desires me to understand? He has wisely chosen that barren setting as the framework for my vision of Him. Moses met Him in the form of the burning bush in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and directed Him there how to confront and defeat the devil. Hosea states that God will transform the Valley of Achor into a door of hope. Achor in Hebrew means trouble. God certainly used the wilderness season in Moses’ life to prepare him for the transformation of 400 years of his people’s slavery in Egypt into a door of hope for deliverance. The forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness empowered Him to defeat the devil on our behalf and prepared Him for the ultimate victory of the Cross. Similarly, God fully intends to use our wilderness place, our “Valley of Trouble,” as a door of hope. He Himself has paid our hotel bill there! He has arranged this trip! He is our only source of hope, and He wants us to cleave to Him, to rely on Him as our only source of glory, hope, beauty and strength. He even promises that our fruit (vineyards) will be given to us in that wasteland (verse 15).
In Hosea 2: 19-20, God promises that He is with us for the long haul: “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.” God longs to prove Himself faithful to you. He yearns to be alone with you and to woo you to Himself. Say “yes” to His offer of a pre-paid vacation at the Wilderness Motel. If you find yourself in a dry place, quit camping in your own tent of sorrow! He has booked a double room for you and Him alone — Jesus paid the bill already! Let Him take your hand and transform your Valley of Achor into a door of hope!