God often uses object lessons to teach us His truths. An object lesson is a practical example or demonstration of some principle or idea. Like small children, we humans often have to SEE or EXPERIENCE something to understand it. We find one such object lesson in the book of Hosea. In this book, Hosea shares God’s heart 💖with Israel.
Hosea was a prophet of God who ministered to the northern ten tribes of Israel in the 8th Century, BC. He was one of Israel’s longest serving prophets (60-70 years). During the reign of Jeroboam II, Israel had several successful military victories and enjoyed a time of great financial prosperity. Oppression and exploitation of the poor by the wealthy elite who lived in palaces of unheard-of splendor, and a craving for amusement were some of the internal fruits of Israel’s external triumphs.
Instead of Israel being grateful to YHWH (God) for her financial and military successes, the moral fabric of her society collapsed, and corruption and depravity became rampant. Israel’s wicked king Jeroboam II 😈led the nation headlong into idolatry as he attributed her success to the pagan “god” Baal (satan) and not to her True God YHWH. The people stopped obeying YHWH’s laws and commandments and instead worshipped the pagan deities of the nations. Israel broke their marriage covenant to YHWH (God).
How did God respond? He went to great lengths to teach Israel (and us) exactly how He feels 💔when His people break Covenant with Him. God asked the prophet Hosea to MARRY a prostitute. I know this sounds extreme, but again, God uses object lessons, often painful ones, to teach us His Truths.
Hosea 1:2: The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.
Hosea obediently married a PROSTITUTE named Gomer. In those days, women had very few “financial” options, especially when unmarried, widowed or divorced. There were not many paying “jobs” for women, so many of them were driven into a life of prostitution just to put food on the table. As you can imagine, this was NOT a good life. Hosea RESCUED Gomer from a desolate life of prostitution. Did Gomer really appreciate Hosea’s love? Apparently not. It was not long before Gomer began prostituting herself again.
Recently, our Pastor did a sermon on this important love story (Hosea and Gomer) of the Bible and compared it to the movie “Forest Gump”. It was a really powerful comparison. Perhaps you have seen the movie? In the movie, a simple-minded man “Forest” falls in love with a young woman “Jenny”. They actually grew up together as best friends. Jenny was very kind to Forest, and even defended him against bullies. However, what we soon discover is that Jenny had been physically and sexually abused by her father as a young child.
The emotional damage done to Jenny plagued her the rest of her life. Because of her feelings of shame and low self-worth, Jenny continually pushed Forest’s true and pure love away and chased after evil, abusive men who treated her like garbage. In similar manner, Gomer was unable or unwilling to give up her life of whoredom even after marrying Hosea. She continued to RUN from Forest and chase after evil, unscrupulous men who treated her like trash. Such is the sad, sad cycle of abuse.
Gomer is a symbol of Israel, God’s ADULTEROUS wife. This is not only about the northern tribes of Israel, or the Jewish people, but ALL of God’s people. All of God’s people have gone astray. (Isaiah 53:6)
Restoration of Israel
Hosea 2: 14: “Therefore, behold, I am going to persuade her,✝️
Bring her into the wilderness,
And speak kindly to her.
15 Then I will give her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will respond there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she went up from the land of Egypt.
16 And it will come about on that day,” declares the Lord,
“That you will call Me my husband 💒💖
And no longer call Me my Baal. (Baal means ‘lord’)
17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
So that they will no longer be mentioned by their names.
19 I will betroth you to Me forever; 💒💖
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In favor and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord.
God’s response is first, to let Israel (and us) experience the consequences of our sin; however, God promises to NOT leave us in that condition. God told Hosea to go get Gomer and “buy her back”. You see, at this point Gomer had left Hosea and had been again living this life of prostitution. It had gotten so bad for Gomer that Hosea found her on the auction block, being LITERALLY SOLD into SEX SLAVERY. Hosea, filled with love for his wife, paid the price of a slave and bought her back. Hosea REDEEMED his wife, Gomer.
Hosea 3:1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet is committing adultery, as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
2 So I purchased her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 Then I said to her, “You shall live with me for many days. You shall not play the prostitute, nor shall you have another man; so I will also be toward you.” 4 For the sons of Israel will live for many days without a king or leader, without sacrifice or memorial stone, and without ephod or household idols.
5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness (GRACE) in the last days.
God, too, REDEEMED His people who had been sold into a lifetime of slavery to sin. God REDEEMED His people, not through “money”, but through the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 52:3) This was prophesied in Hosea 3:5 and came to pass two thousand years ago. ✝️
1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life (tfj: sin nature) inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Gomer was on the auction block being SOLD into SLAVERY, but Hosea paid the price. Can you imagine Gomer’s shock when she heard her husband’s voice “bidding” for his wife? Gomer probably thought that Hosea would NEVER want anything to do with her ever again. Hosea PAID the price to REDEEM his wife. Hosea, out of his great love💖 for God and for his wife, bought back the woman who had brought him shame and dishonor. Hosea was in pain. He had been dishonored. He had been betrayed. And yet, he was able to FORGIVE and REDEEM his wife, ultimately bringing joy and love back into both of their lives.
Similarly, ALL of God’s people have gone astray. Like Gomer, we have all run after other “gods”. ALL of us have dishonored our Father in Heaven, our Creator and Bridegroom, by our idolatry, greed, anger, lust/sexual sins, pride and the like. We have not kept God’s commandments and we have not loved God with our whole hearts. Instead, we have allowed the lies of Satan to deceive us into putting “self” on the Throne.
However, God in His mercy sent His One and Only Begotten Son that WHOSOEVER would BELIEVE in Him would not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE. ✝️ God has REDEEMED His people, HALLELUJAH! He has written His Laws on our hearts. If we truly LOVE God, we will keep (treasure, adore) His Commandments. We will put God’s Will above our own will. We will crucify the lusts of the flesh and walk by the Spirit. This is possible because God’s Love is living inside of every believer via His Holy Spirit. 🕊️
Abused and yet continuously chasing after the “god” of this world (Satan), we broke YHWH (God’s) heart. 💔 Our Creator God (YHWH/JESUS CHRIST) COULD have left us to be DEVOURED by Satan on the auction block of sin, SOLD into an ETERNITY of slavery and suffering in hell 💀……but He did not. God (JESUS CHRIST) Humbled Himself to the point of death on an old, rugged Cross. ✝️ He came for us. He had mercy on us. He REDEEMED us!
Jesus loves us. And…He is coming back SOON.
Let us REPENT of our part in this TERRIBLE rebellion against our CREATOR YHWH and RECEIVE Jesus Christ’s Love and FORGIVENESS!
I am a WHOSOEVER…are you?