"When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, he said this to him: Go and marry a woman of promiscuity, and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the LORD." -Hosea 1:2
Disclaimer: If you’ve never read the story of Hosea and Gomer, great! You’ll have the advantage here. If you have read the story before but have always been SO confused about it, great! This will probaly make you cry, not going to lie lol. If you have read the story and know exactly what it means, great! You will still also probably cry. Or at least come close. Break out the tissues.
The verse above is actually one of the craziest things I think God says in the entire Bible… and that’s saying a lot. But if you didn’t understand that verse, He is basically telling Hosea, “Your country is screwed up and is acting like a prostitute towards me by cheating on me with all kinds of other gods. So what I want you to do about it is to go and marry a prostitute and have kids with her.”
I can tell you that if God told me that, I’d probably be reconsidering the whole Christianity thing. Just being real.
God wants Hosea to do WHAT?
Imagine being Hosea’s BFF and meeting him for lunch that day. Casual conversations are carrying on but you know that Hosea isn’t telling you something. You convince him to fess up and he tells you he’s supposed to marry a prostitute. I would be like, “honestly bro, I think you’re hearing from the wrong god”.
Nevertheless, Hosea agrees.
He goes out and looks for this woman he’s going to marry. Now you know her career and you know that the only place you’re going to find her is where she works. Hosea was a reputable man in his community (up to this point) and is seen walking into the house of prostitutes. Nobody knows he’s going to find his wife.
You know how word spreads, I’m sure by the end of the day the whole town knew where Hosea had been and had spread rumors about what he was doing there. No men ever go to those kinds of places to do anything other than take advantage of what is offered. Hosea’s reputation just tanked.
I’m sure the story was much longer than we are offered in this short narrative found in the Bible, but ultimately he pursues this women who is a prostitute. He loves her out of this job that she has acquired. And he takes her home to be his wife. Gomer is no longer a prostitute, but a wife.
Take note here that it’s not stated in the story, but there is no way that whoever was in charge just let Hosea take one of their moneymakers out of their business without charging a high fee. I would assume that the manager would expect a large amount of money to take someone who was making them a large amount of money. I almost guarantee you that Hosea had to buy Gomer as his wife with most of his life savings. But he paid it.
He took her home and they had children together. Just when Hosea thought that he was living his happily ever after, God expressed His love for us through their story.
Gomer GOES BACK.
She leaves. She’s gone. She went back to being a prostitute. She’s left Hosea with their kids and has gone back to her old way of life. She has abandoned the love that she had at home for her old way of living.
Hosea wakes up and sees that she’s gone. He is overwhelmed with emotion. I can imagine him screaming and crying and throwing things across the room. The women that HE pursued. The woman that HE loved to life. The woman that HE spent his whole life savings on. The woman that HE saved from a terrible life just upped and walked away.
How dare she.
"Then the LORD said to me, "Go again; show love to a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, just as the LORD loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods..." -Hosea 1:3
NO! HOSEA DON’T DO IT! The first time I read this I was screaming in my mind at Hosea telling him not to do it! Don’t run after the woman who left you! She doesn’t deserve you!
"So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and five bushels of barley." -Hosea 3:2
He did what? He got up. He went to that place once again. And he bought her back. Wow.
The Bible doesn’t say what kind of scene he walked in on. What if she was already with another man? That was the kind of work she was in. What if she was already selling her body to the highest bidder? What if he had to see that?
It didn’t matter. He loved her.
The four words from this passage that wrecks me every time are, “So I bought her.”
BUT HOSEA you already bought her once! Why would you buy her back again! She missed her chance to have a better life!
And then God whispered 4 more life wrecking words to my heart.
“Because you are Gomer”.
We are Gomer. We are the ones that despite the love given to us, we have run away and gone back to the old ways of life. The things that aren’t good for us, the things that we should’ve never had the desire to go back to once we found this crazy amazing love that God pours out on us. God was speaking to Israel through Hosea, but he was also ultimately prophesying over our lives.
God comes along, just like Hosea, and says, “How much? How much will it cost for me to get her back again? I’ve already sent my son and paid the ultimate price, much like Hosea did when he bought her in the beginning, but how much do I need to pay this time?”
He pays that price every time. He follows us back to wherever we might’ve gone. Even if those places are ugly, dirty, or frustrating. He does whatever it takes to pursue us once again. And He buys us back, no matter the cost.
Wow. How beautiful is our love story?
Beat that Hallmark.