God called a man to marry a prostitute.
She was an adulterous, cheating whore of a wife, yet God still told him to keep her as his wife and he loved her completely. Hosea was this man and Gomer was his wife.
Hosea was told by God: “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have(D) children of whoredom, for(E) the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son” (Hosea 1:2-3 ESV).
God wanted Hosea to marry Gomer because God desired his marriage to be a symbol to the people of Israel.
God loves his people so deeply yet they have whored themselves out to sin, and other gods, choosing to cheat on God, as Gomer cheats continuously on Hosea. She has cheated so much on Hosea, that some of the children she bears are not Hosea’s, so he names one of them “Not My People”.
This story is quite beautiful, yet extremely scandelous. Hosea is a man of God, yet he is married to a whore. The fact that she is a prostitute is well known to all around, it’s no secret…in fact, I’m sure that some of the men who condemn Hosea for his marital choice are actually having sex with Gomer!
Reading this story has always affected me, but now especially because I am married. I love my wife with all my heart, but the thought of her cheating on me sends pangs in my heart. To have that happen again and again would be unbearable.
Love scorned, love pushed away and treated like a dirty rag worthy of only wiping a butt with is how Gomer treated Hosea.
He loved her, sacrificed his reputation for her, sacrificed his dignity for her, even sacrificed his right to be the father of her children. All because of his love for her and his love for God.
In reading the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers, this story has made more headway into my heart and mind.
We are Gomer. I am Gomer.
We/I have whored myself out to sin. I have left the one who loved me and scorned his love. God is a prostitue lover. We give him a beating yet he still loves us.
Out of Hosea’ whole story, this is what hits me the hardest: “1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
So I bought her for fifteen shekels [a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek [b] of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with [c] me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with [d] you.” (Hosea 3:1-3 NIV)
Hosea, knowing that his wife has once again sold herself out for prostitution goes to her pimp and buys her back! He had to buy his own wife back..and HE DID!
She wandered away from his bed to sleep with countless men, to cheat countless times. She was now once again owned by another man…and Hosea paid the price!
My heart aches when I read this. My heart and soul want to weep at this…yet I AM GOMER. I am not Hosea…God is. In the narritive of our lives, we are Gomer. Yet God in His love and grace comes and purchases us back. He paid the price…in blood.
There are several more hard hitting pieces to this story and River’s book based on this Biblical account which I will share. This is part one in the Series entitled “Prostitute Lover”.