Gomer was a hooker. Hosea was a prophet. The two got married. The end. That’s what I remember about the book of Hosea. Then there was lots of talk about judgment, wrath, pain, suffering and all that jazz! Well, I read the prophet Hosea again today. Why is it that we can read God’s Word and He will allow us to catch what He wants us to catch at the right time, yet miss the core message other times we read the same passage? That’s really a rhetorical question from my point of view by the way!
I wish that I could just sit down with each of you who read this and just talk about Hosea… face to face… piece by piece… point by point. I really missed it before! The power of God’s message of unconditional love. It seems like such a painful story from Hosea’s perspective. Here’s this prophet of God and He tells him to marry a prostitute knowing full well that she’s not going to be faithful to him! That makes me angry! Then, they have three children together and God, you have each one named after some negative “point” about your people! What about those kids! You’ve got to be joking! THEN, in chapter three you have Hosea buy back Gomer after she has been unfaithful to Hosea and an absent mother to her children! What gives God! It just seems cruel… from my limited love and limited perspective.
If I stop there, I miss the point. Lord, I get it now. You want me to love others like Hosea loved Gomer. You want me to love others like the way you love Israel. I forget Lord that it does not matter what I have done. I forget Lord that it does not matter what others have done or what others have done to me… you call me to love unconditionally. Lord, you loved Gomer. You love Israel. You love me. That’s the point. As I remember what the Lord has done for me I can’t help but love others unconditionally. Your love for me Lord, compels me to share the depths of your love with others. That you would send your own Son, Jesus to die for me. I am Gomer Lord… I am Israel… and, you are my Redeemer.
Take the time to read Hosea today. Take it as God’s warning to us of being away from Him and the realization that nothing can keep us from His love. I think Paul remembered this story as he wrote Romans 8:31-39.