I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert. . . . There I will give her back her vineyards. (Hosea 2: 14– 15)
The desert is certainly a strange place to find vineyards! Can it be true that the riches of life that we need can be found in the desert— a place that symbolizes loneliness, and through which we can seldom find our way? Not only is this true but verse 15 goes on to say, “I . . . will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth.” “Achor” means “troubled,” yet the Valley of Achor is called “a door of hope.”
Yes, God knows our need for a desert experience. He knows exactly where and how to produce enduring qualities in us. The person who has been idolatrous, has been rebellious, has forgotten God, and has said with total self-will, “I will go after my lovers” (Hos. 2: 5), will find her path blocked by God. “She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them” (Hos. 2: 7). And once she feels totally hopeless and abandoned, God will say, “I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.”
What a loving God we have!
We never know where God has hidden His streams. We see a large stone and have no idea that it covers the source of a spring. We see a rocky area and never imagine that it is hiding a fountain. God leads me into hard and difficult places, and it is there I realize I am where eternal streams abide.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim. Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 261-262). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.