Are you a Gomer? The story of Hosea and Gomer has to be one of the greatest pictures of God’s love and faithfulness found throughout the Bible. Hosea was an Old Testament prophet that God used in a very unique way. Not only did Hosea speak the words of God, but God turned his very life and marriage into a living parable for the people of God to see and witness.
The Lord had Hosea marry a prostitute named Gomer. He took her as his wife, but Gomer kept wandering into the arms of other lovers. She was unfaithful. And yet the Lord told Hosea to keep going after her again and again, and bring her back home.
Hosea was a picture of God, and Gomer represented God’s people. God’s people were called to live in a covenant relationship with the Lord. He was their God and they were to have no other gods in their life. They consistently rebelled against God though and chased after other idols. Their history was full of unfaithfulness.
Instead of just telling Israel how sinful they were and how determined God was to love them anyway, God had Hosea and Gomer serve as a dramatic illustration. So Gomer kept cheating on Hosea. She left him with the kids and went out into the arms of other lovers — turning her back on him, spurning him, and committing adultery again and again.
You would think love would have its limits. I do not think anyone would have looked down on Hosea for bailing out on his marriage. The Lord had Hosea stay in that marriage though. He wouldn’t let him go. Why? Hosea was to be a picture of God’s amazing love and faithfulness to a group of people who often did not return God’s faithfulness.
Even when God’s people turn their backs on Him and run to the world to indulge their pleasure, God’s love doesn’t quit. He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t look for an out. He still pursues us. How can we even begin to describe a love that is so deep that it would pursue and illicit fornicator and adultery. And yet this is what God told Hosea to do:
“The Lord said to (Hosea), ‘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 of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, ‘You are to live with me many days, you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.’” (Hosea 3:1-3)
Do you see what Hosea did to gain his wife back? He had to go and purchase her back. He had to pay what was called a redemption price to bring his own wayward wife home. Gomer, playing the part of unfaithful Israel was redeemed by the relentless love of her husband.
You should never forget that this is a picture of the love of God for you. You are a Gomer. I am a Gomer! God paid the most precious and costly price to redeem you from a life of sin and idolatry. We wander from God, and yet He has come to buy us back. The worst mistake we could ever make is to deny the love of God. Our hearts should not remain hard like a stone when we hear the story of God’s love. We should hear of a God who loves and pursues like this, and our hearts should be moved to love Him back.
The truth is that we are a bunch of Gomers who chase the world. And yet our God has a love greater than that of Hosea who will woo and pursue to bring us back to Himself. And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at david@ wearecommunity.church or 912-634-2960.