Valleys…valleys. Valleys everywhere. Valleys filled with circumstantial squalls rushing through our lives as the brook Kidron running as a winter torrent through the Valley of Jehoshaphat (meaning Jehovah judged).
What kind of valley are you in? There are all kinds of valleys: luxurious and lush ones, fruit-filled ones, barren ones, and desert ones. The Bible tells us the names of many valleys of the ancient world, valley names that we can apply to our lives.
Do any of these fit your life? Such as the valley of…
*Rephaim: meaning lofty men or giants.
*Arabah: meaning sterile, desert, or barren district.
*Aven: meaning nothingness, vanity, idolatry, wickedness, or emptiness.
*Achor: meaning trouble, serious trouble.
Have you visited or camped out in one (or more) of those valleys lately? Where giants of circumstance hide behind every rock, waiting to overtake you? Where emptiness depletes your soul and leaves it as a barren land? Where idols knock on the door of your heart? Where trouble seems to whack you down at every bend in the road?
Sometimes, those valleys come just as part of life and, sometimes, they are of our own making. We get caught in a self-inflicted valley, stuck in a revolving rut going around some mountain of affliction, and God says, “You have circled around this mountain long enough; now turn north.” (Deut. 2:3 NET)
We are to turn to God. To turn toward Him and away from that rut, or mountain, or valley. But if we don’t hightail it out of there, we end up in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Jehovah judged. We end up trudging through the same ol’ rutted trail that leads round and round that same ol’ mountain. We need to break away and go stand in another valley, one with a watch tower, like…
*Mizpah: meaning lookout or watch tower.
Isaiah said the watchman said, “I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime; I have sat at my post every night.” (Is. 21:8 NKJV) Do you do that? Do you stand in the watchtower, on guard? Watching for those enemy giants hiding somewhere, ready to pounce on you? Those enemies of your soul. Is the Lord your High Tower for safety? David said to God, “For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy.” (Ps. 61:3 NKJV)
God is “A refuge in times of trouble.” (Ps. 9:9 NKJV) When we trust God, rather than wandering around in a wilderness valley or walking “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4 NKJV), He will take all those troubles, trials, and heartaches in our valley, and “transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope…and then Trouble Valley will become Hopeful Valley.” (Hos. 2:15b NLT, CEV)
And your Valley of Achor will open to be…
*Gerar: meaning a lodging place or rolling country.
*Siddim: meaning valley of broad plains.
…a peaceful valley to dwell in.
*Jezreel: meaning God scatters or God will sow.
*Eshcol: meaning a cluster of grapes or other fruit.
…a fruitful valley.
*Zered: meaning to be luxuriant in growth or lined with shrubbery.
*Sorek: meaning choice vine or valley of the fertile spot.
…a valley of growth. Of green pastures and still waters. Restoring your soul.
*Berachah: meaning blessing or benediction.
…a valley filled with God’s blessings.
Are you just traveling through a valley, or are you camping out and stuck in it? Which valley would you like to live in?
No matter what valley you are experiencing, He walks with you. With you, through every valley…through every rut…around every mountain.
Whatever you are experiencing right now, God is with you. Your Immanuel. Closer than your breath. Nearer than your heartbeat. And hope is waiting in your valley.