Some places hoard bad memories. Maybe it was your hometown or even your home. The events associated with that place have forever tainted its memories. The Valley of Achor was such a site.
After Joshua’s victory at Jericho, the Israelites suffered defeat at Ai because a man named Achan had buried banned spoils of war under his tent (Joshua 7:1, 21). Following this event, the Valley of Achor served as a reminder of failure, of setback, and of defeat.
But God would change the place from a site of trouble to a place of triumph.
He can do the same for you.
The Valley of Achor
The word Achor means “trouble,” and so, with a slight variation of Achan’s name, Joshua asked him, “Why have you troubled us?” (Joshua 7:25). After Achan’s execution, the valley where he died took on the name “Valley of Achor.” This valley may well be the Wadi Qilt just west of Jericho.
When the original readers of 1 Chronicles came across this story in the genealogical record, they would have remembered Achan as Achar, “the troubler” (1 Chronicles 2:7).
But they also would have recalled that the prophets described the Valley of Achor—a place once linked with sin, discipline, and death—as a place of promise.
- Hosea spoke of the valley as a future “door of hope” and a place for joyful singing (Hosea 2:15).
- Isaiah referred to the dry valley as the spot where herds will someday rest (Isaiah 65:10).
God can produce hope in spite our awful situations.
God Can Change Your Trouble to Triumph
You may have experienced a terrible fallout from wrongs done to you or from wrongs you have done. The Lord can redeem the most awful of situations. Here are two scenarios:
- God promises to take the worst of what happened to you and work it for your good (Rom. 8:28). Although what happened may have been evil, God has a higher plan that is impossible to understand (Genesis 50:20). The end doesn’t justify the means. But God will still cause it work together for your good if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ.
- If the fallout occurred because of our own doing, we allow God to heal us by coming to terms with our willful sin. As Christians, we have the promise that when we confess our buried, hidden sins, God will purify us from all unrighteousness—even from those sins buried so deep we don’t know to confess them (1 John 1:9).
God can change our “trouble” into triumph, but how and when He chooses to do so is up to Him.
We cling to the promise that He will.