For to each repentant one the valley of lowliness and sorrow becomes a door of hope; especially where God chastens for our sins will He comfort and heal. It is a strong word, “scourgeth.” He “scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” Look again at the sinning sons of Jacob. For long years their consciences slumbered, and by-and-bye, what with their being taken for spies, and the cup being found in Benjamin’s sack, and Benjamin accordingly being detained from his father, their consciences were awakened, and they saw themselves verily guilty. But when the arms of Joseph were opened to receive them the valley of Achor became “a door of hope.” It was the same with David, as we have seen. In Psalm 32 he cries, “My bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long; day and night thy hand was heavy upon me;” but by-and-by he sings of his transgressions having been forgiven—“Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” Instead of “bones waxing old” he has “songs.” The valley of Achor, the very sorrow he felt for his sin, leads to a door of hope.
This is how God works. First there is the sin, and the conscience dormant respecting it; next God has to awaken it. Or first there is the dead conscience; then there is the awakened conscience, the Holy Spirit having put the sin on the conscience; and lastly the sinner takes the sin-burdened conscience to Jesus, on whom the sin is seen to be laid, and who has put it away by the sacrifice of Himself. God wants nothing from us but to confess our sin. God does not want us to do anything, but simply to come to Him. He did not allow the prodigal to say what he had intended; viz., that he would be as an hired servant. Are you saying, “Where is the blessedness I knew when first I saw the Lord”? Over the cross faith can see written, “The valley of Achor,” which was a valley of sin and death, has become a door of glorious and triumphant hope, a scene, now of rest and peace—peace with God, and rest in His presence.
J. Denham Smith, The Gospel in Hosea (London; Dublin; Paris: James E. Hawkins; S. W. Partridge & Co.; J. Bonheure et Cie, n.d.), 216–218. We are shut out from all our own righteousness and fitted with a better, another’s righteousness.