Tag Archive | hope

Prisoner of WHAT?

God used the prophet Zechariah to speak an interesting admonition to His people:  “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope.   Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.”  (Zech. 9:11-12)  At first glance, it seems odd that God would describe freedom from the waterless pit as a life lived as a prisoner of hope.    Our usual concept of freedom is the OPPOSITE of captivity.   However, this admonition to action is actually an encouraging promise!  The word prisoner actually means one who is taken/overtaken/held [captive], according to the etymology of the word.   In fact, pris is the past participle (meaning taken) of the French verb prendre, to take.   If we apply that meaning of the word to these verses, we are compelled to ask ourselves:  What have I allowed to take me captive, to overtake me, to overcome me?   God wants us free from captivity to the waterless pit, which is a place of darkness, a place where we are limited in movement, a place where there is no life or provision for life.   He wants us to live instead as prisoners of hope, to be overtaken or seized or held captive by hope!   We can access hope by returning to the stronghold: taking refuge in Jesus Christ and all He is, abiding in His Presence and a deliberate, conscious awareness of His life in us.   In fact, Peter addresses this same issue:  “…by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:19b)  What is overcoming or overtaking me?  What is ruling my thought life?  What is holding me captive?   As I take refuge in God — my fortress and strong tower (Psalm 61:3), His presence will cause me to be overtaken (taken prisoner) by HOPE instead of living as a prisoner of the waterless pit!

Hosea 2:14-15 The Door of Hope

330px-glacial_valley_mthoodwilderness“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, 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.” Hosea 2:14-15 NKJV

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NKJV

Just as the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, He sometimes leads us into the wilderness to give us victory over temptation and trouble. Hosea says that the Lord will speak comfort to us in the waste places of our lives. He even promises to give us fruit from those dry, devastated places. In fact, the Valley of Achor will be a door of hope. The word “achor” in Hebrew means trouble or disturbance. God says in this passage that the very depths of our disturbance He will transform into a door (literally, an opening) of hope. He will give us a door of hope, an opening, in the situations which have hemmed us in, disturbed us, and kept us from moving forward. The word for “trouble” in Psalm 46:1 is a word that literally means “narrow place,” “tightness,” “adversity,” or “affliction.” Here, too, the Lord promises to be present with us. When we find ourselves in the Valley of Trouble of any kind, we need to remember that the Lord intends to give us a door of hope in the midst of that trouble and bring great fruit from our afflictions. He is ever-present with us in the midst of difficulties of all types. He is faithful and will give us our vineyards from that place of seeming restriction and barrenness. Ask Him to show you the door of hope that He has promised. He will reveal it to you.