A Doorway of Intimacy - HOPE 6 - David Mitts

"Then I will give 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.(Hos 2:15 NASB) 

Hope is an anchor for our soul.  It tethers us to God’s destiny for us which is for good and not evil.   


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'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11 NASB). 

The natural question is that if God’s plans for us for our welfare and not for calamity, then what interferes with those plans, or what can I do to enhance those plans.  How can my hope be actualized? 

Let’s go to Hosea 2, beginning at verse 14 to get a possible glimpse of some solutions: 
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. (Hos 2:14 NASB). 

First, we need to realize that God is the author of romance. Listen to the words.. allure her, speak kindly to her…. The word for allure is highly suggestive of intimacy.  This is the voice of a lover who is unashamed of His love.  Speaking kindly is the word “lev” which means heart. So, God is speaking from His heart.  This is pure romance, pure love. The wilderness is “midbar”. Midbar means literally from the voice or the place of the voice.  Another perspective is the solitude and the freedom from the distractions of “other voices”. 

What are the other voices? Well, remember all of reality is upheld by His words. So, any other voices that capture our attention dilute His voiceAll other voices are self-generated.  They are what the Bible calls dumb idols, 1Cor 12:2. I know we tend to think of those as statues and they do mean that. BUT that is just a solidification of the voices. Since everything that exists comes from His voice, then when we give our attention and our affections to created things, we shift our trust from Him to the other voices, the created things. They don’t have a voice, but we give them a voice in our lives.  

What happens as we give created things voices in our lives, God’s voice begins to disappear. So, in His love, His jealousy He draws into the midbar, the wilderness where the other voices are quieted. Be clear that He will do whatever it takes to capture our heart again.  
To what aim? Let’s look at the next verse in Hosea 2:15

"Then I will give 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.(Hos 2:15 NASB) 

First, feel the promise! Vineyards, hope, singing as in days of youth, deliverance. From His voice, His alluring heart love comes hope.  Hope of vineyards.  What do vineyards represent? Fruitfulness, joy, peace, and abundance.  More than that they also represent abiding in Him, with Him, for Him, and through Him. 

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.(Rom 11:36 NASB). 

You see once we lose ourselves in His romance, in His love, we gain the vineyard, the garden of love. 

"My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies."(Son 6:2-3 NASB) 

This is the place of the songs of youth.  What songs do the youth sing? Love songs.  These are the love songs of deliverance. Psalms 22. You see we think of romance in our western culture in certain contexts and images. Many of these come to us from movies or how we saw our parents express romance.  BUT God is not western.  He romances as a hero.  He rescues His love from Egypt, from bondage with His love. Egypt is not just the place of physical slavery for the Israelis in the time of Moses. No Egypt is any bondage that keeps us from being free.  As Lisa’s song declares, Free to dance and to lose ourselves in You! 

Next, as we have spoken before there is the place of the Valley of Achor where hope is opened like a door, a portal. Achor is the place of Achan and the sin of greed and lust. These are the strongest voices that steal our hope.  Greed and lust are a complete lack of trust in the goodness of God and His love for us.  They are the selfish ambitions of the lost.  God is bigger and He loves us in our selfish ambitions and opens up the door of hope, the promise of goodness in our future as He romances us and reclaims our life. 

In the valley of Achor, Achan was judged for his sin which affected the whole nation.  In a similar way, Yeshua takes on our sin that affects the nationIn this way, He opens the doorway of hope.  We see this expressed in Ephesians 2. 

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.(Eph 2:11-16 NASB) 

Implied in this verse is that Israel has a hope, a promise of redemption.  I’m not here to argue that point. I just want to suggest that our hope is in Him. One New Man is a picture of the hope of being reconciled into oneness.  This is the pace of His love, the abiding reality, the fruit of which is love, joy, peace. 

Let’s return to Hosea 2 and continue our discussion about the activating of hope and the fulfillment of our destiny. 

"It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me Ishi And will no longer call Me Baali. (Hos 2:16 NASB) 

His verse completes the picture of romance, the unlocking of destiny.  There comes a point where we have to learn the lesson of Ishi versus Baali. 

Ishi is the term for my dearest husbandOne of the true keys to hope is the transformation of our understanding and trust in the nature of how we experience and relate to God. 

Most people who receive salvation, receive an image of God as the forgiver of their sins and as the director of their lives, what would be described as the Lord of their lives. In this verse, this is termed “baali”.  In order to respond to the romance of the Lord, we need to move from Lordship which is all about honor and obedience to love.  Love is expressed by His declaration of Himself as Ishi, beloved husband. 

This is the same declaration that the Apostle Paul gives us in 1Corintinas 13:12-13 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.(1Co 13:12-13 NASB) 

To be fully known and to fully know is only possible beyond the veil of shame.  Shame causes us to cover up and protect ourselves.  We fear to be known by another because we fear what they will find out.  Our secrets are scary to us.  We reason that if anyone else knew how truly scared we are in this life, and what that fear has produced in us they would reject us.  So to avoid rejection, we self-reject first.  We decide that to be fully known is too scary, so we cover ourselves up.   

Even God, who we know in our heads knows it all, is kept at a distance and we try to please Him through Baali, through obedience and performance. In order for hope to have its power for us, the pull of our destiny, we need to break off the performance trap of God as Lord.  Israel had already failed Him as Lord.  We also already have failed Him as Lord.  We can say and quote that Jesus is Lord.  Yet we have failed Him as Lord. 

The dilemma is that if we stop at Jesus is Lord then we lose our hope.  Why? Because when we think of Him as Lord, and treat Him as Lord, we are driven to perform through obedience.  Yet He doesn’t allure us into the place of His voice, the midbar to get us to obey!  No, He allures us to win our hearts!  He knows He has our hearts when we trust Him in our weaknesses.  When we confess to Him our weaknesses, then He is moved by love to cover them Himself with His grace.  This restores or opens up the door of Hope! Can you see it!  

Performance is the enemy of Hope because it puts the focus back on us and our failures 

Let’s continue with Hosea 2: 

"For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, so that they will be mentioned by their names no more. "In that day I will also make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety. (Hos 2:17-18 NASB) 

This is a promise of true hope.  Hidden in this verse is a master key.  This is revealed by innocuous term: “creeping things of the ground”.  Where have we seen this relationship before? Yes. Genesis 1:26 

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."(Gen 1:26 NASB) 

This is the authority mandate verse.  Stated clearly, but missed by most is the plurality, let us make man in our image. The plurality means we cannot achieve our true hope, our destiny alone.  The image of God that we are requires intimacy and trust.  Our hope is in our weakness because our weaknesses are where the Ishi, the beloved husband covers us and helps us to be all that we are called to be. 

"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. (Hos 2:19-20 NASB) 

Wow! What a promise! Righteousness and justice, lovingkindness and compassion, faithfulness. These are the qualities of His Glory. 

Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;(Exo 34:6 NASB) 

When God promises to be our husband, He does it with transformative glory.  This reveals who He is, we know Him and in that image, we are known.  You see He never desired a performance machine, no He desires a more precious thing, tenderness, and humility.  When we bring our weaknesses to Him, His love covers, atones for our weaknesses and makes us one with Him in our weakness. 

Finishing up Hosea 2 
"It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'You are my God!'"(Hos 2:21-23 NASB) 

Responding to the heavens is a reference to binding and loosening which is about forgiveness. The new wine and oil is a picture of abundance. Jezreel means where God sows His words. He finishes up with a declaration of true love. This is Hope! 

Activation: 

The key to true hope is becoming free from doubt, being double-minded which comes from self-judgment. So, it returns to being open with our failures and weaknesses. Make a list of what you are afraid people will find out about you. Now let’s write that list down and burn it as an offering declaring our love and trust to Him. 

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