Earlier this year, if you had asked me which Bible character I related to the most, you probably would have heard… Martha, Priscilla or even Ruth. Great women, who sought after the true heart of God.
But half way into our Bible reading plan, I have a new woman to add to my list. Not someone I aspire to be, but rather someone I once was.
Hosea’s wife, Gomer.
The Old Testament book of Hosea was written during a time of general prosperity but spiritual starvation. The culture had shifted and God’s people were immersed in idolatry, especially the worship of Baal. I’m not sure what part of ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,’ did the Israelites not understand. But they just didn’t get it.
Over and over again, through His prophets, God conveyed how much He loved His people, how grieved He was by their worship of other gods, and how all they had to do was turn back to Him and He would turn to them. But their hearts remained hard.
So the Lord asked His prophet, Hosea, to participate in a little object lesson. (At this point, if I were Hosea, I think I would have changed professions).
God asks the prophet Hosea to ‘Take for himself an adulterous wife.’ Hosea obeyed. He chose Gomer as his wife. Some scholars believe Gomer was a former prostitute who hadn’t exactly retired.
Three kids into their marriage, Gomer goes back into her old lifestyle.
God then asks the prophet Hosea to go find her and take her back. “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery,”
At that point, I know I would have changed professions.
But Hosea obeys God.
Hosea took to the streets looking for his wife. I wonder if he trembled as he turned each corner…afraid of what he might see. The Bible tells us he found her, the woman who had not only left him, but also abandoned their three kids.
And he bought her back for fifteen shekels of silver and one and one-half homers of barley.
Hosea purchased what was already his.
The name Hosea means salvation. Hosea is a picture of God. You and I are a picture of Gomer.
I don’t even know half of what God has done in His pursuit for me. How many streets did He have to walk down, how many corners did He have to turn. But He did. In my sin, He purchased me with a price far more valuable than fifteen shekels of silver and some barley. He purchased me with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you have ever wondered if you’ve gone too far…crossed God’s line…done too much for our Savior to love you. Can I assure you, you haven’t.
As Hosea loved Gomer, so God loves you and me.