Hosea: a man, a prophet, an illustration of God’s relationship with His beloved People
Gomer: a woman, a prostitute, a symbol of the adultery committed from Israel and All Peoples.
Adultery is sexual sin. And sexual immorality as we know is a “sin against [our] own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18), it is one of the most profound and deeply wounding sins. If you were told that one of your friends or family members was raped it would not be anything to laugh about. It’s a deeply wounding and personal event.
So it’s interesting that this is how the Lord chooses to describe what has happened with Him and Israel. They have committed adultery against Him, just like Gomer has with Hosea. The Lord has a strong and passionate love for His people so much so, that He would compare His love for them to that of a marriage relationship. And he would express His hurt and jealousy to that of adultery and prostitution.
What’s more interesting however, is this picture of Hosea purchasing His wife after she deserts him and heads back into prostitution. Gomer is already Hosea’s, she belongs to him, and yet he is willing to pay the price to have his wife back.
Similarly, we see God’s passionate love for us as humans when He sends Jesus to the earth to die for us. We belong to Him already Psalms 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” and so here is a picture of us, you and me, as Gomer and we leave our Love, the Lord, and go back into prostitution, and when he finds us on those cold and dirty streets, He purchases us.
How? Through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We BELONG to Him, yet He insisted on paying the price, whatever it may be to have us again, despite our sin, despite our unfaithfulness, despite our adultery; He purchased back what He already owned for the sake of love and for the sake of right relationship.
Naked, ashamed, and bound up by our sin He found us and because of His goodness He sought to buy us back. Not to shame us or use us like the men using Gomer, but to love us and to heal us.
His love is so radical and powerful. Now instead of putting down the 15 shekels and barley (3:2) and taking his wife, the Lord places the payment down and gives us the opportunity to come to Him and to be healed and loved by Him. He invites us to re-enter the marriage with Him, personally.
So the question is…what’s your choice?