Thursday, February 21, 2019

Life In The Valley Part 2

Submitted by Lara Cook

   Modern day Valley of Elah
The Valley of Elah –The Valley of Battle
Anytime in our lives when we are going through a battle, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, we are in the Valley of Elah..  
The valley of Elah is the valley where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath.  Goliath, the giant, came out every single day – for 40 days!-and shouted to the Israelite army, taunting them to come and get him.  They were terrified, and even though they were an army, they felt very incapable because everyone that Goliath went up against in battle ended up in the grave.  He was formidable, and he knew it.  The same thing happens to us in the Valley of Elah.  We are in a battle – sometimes the battle of our lives – and our giants love to taunt us.  They are formidable and their leader, Satan, knows how to attack us the best.  They can leave us feeling terrified and powerless. But we are never powerless.  Just as David was able to overcome Goliath through the power of God, we can overcome our giants and make it through the valley. Every battle we face belongs to the Lord.  Exodus 14:14 - The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
  Modern Day Valley of Achor
The Valley of Achor – A Place of Deep Trouble 
In the Bible, at the battle of Jericho, Joshua received vision and instructions from the Lord: 
And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.  Joshua 6:17-19
God gave them explicit instructions not to take anything from Jericho for themselves or they would bring destruction on the whole camp. One man, Achan, did not obey and he snuck several things out and hid them in his tent.  As a result, God left them.  They began to lose battles and couldn’t stand against the enemies.  One man’s sin had brought all this trouble on the Israelites.  In the Valley of Achor, Achan, the items he had taken from Jericho, all his possessions, and his family were destroyed.  After that, God returned, and a door of hope was opened.  This is symbolic of the old, sinful person in us dying, and rising up a new person in Christ.   When we finally decide to walk away from our sin, God returns to us.
In the Valley of Achor, we leave behind the old and go forward with the new person we are in Christ.  This valley is where you leave the sin that is holding you back.  You leave the shame you have been carrying. The exit of this valley is not an escape, it is a door of hope.  Just as the people of Israel found the door of Hope in returning to God, we can find the hope of Jesus Christ, find release from the sin and shame, we can be a door of hope for someone else.  
Scripture to Claim:
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  Colossians 2:13-1

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