Valley of Achor: How to Change Your Trouble to Triumph

Why You Should Never Give up if You're in a Hopeless Place

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.

Valley of Achor: How to Change Your Trouble to Triumph

(Photo: The Wadi Qilt, perhaps the Valley of Achor. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

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.

Wadi Qilt

(Photo: Wadi Qilt. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Going Places with God- A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the BibleLike This Post? Get the Whole Book!

This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.

• You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.

After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.

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