Remember that friend I mentioned in God’s Great Love Story? She had asked me what my favorite Bible story was. At the time I focused on explaining to her why I couldn’t choose only one. In hindsight I wish I had thought about it more; a few weeks after our conversation she was preparing to go to Olympia for a week and requested a list of “good Bible stories to read.”
Flustered, I sent her a list of some passages I enjoy studying. One of these is the story of Gomer and Hosea. This can be read in the book of Hosea, but I’ll write a brief overview.
God commands the prophet Hosea to marry Gomer, a promiscuous woman. Hosea obeys and they have a son. Soon enough she has two more children – and he isn’t the father. Gomer leaves Hosea for her lovers and is eventually sold into slavery. When Hosea pays the slave price for her, he commands her to be reconciled with him and not intimate with another.
Interesting choice to send to a friend – but I didn’t think about it at the time. Why do I enjoy reading a story about an unfaithful wife? Because Gomer and Hosea’s relationship is similar to God’s relationship with Israel. The covenant God gave to Israel is similar to the marriage covenant and Gomer’s adultery is similar to Israel’s idolatry.
As I mentioned last week the Church is the Bride of Christ. We are to prepare our hearts and minds for His return. Romans 12:2a says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As a church collectively and as individuals we must strive for purity and devotion to our Creator.
Some days when I’m bogged down in the temptations and trials of this world, this looks unachievable. Some people might judge Gomer; I leave the judging to God. Why? Because I can relate. Often times I am unfaithful to a faithful God. And this brings me to the reason why I enjoy reading Hosea so much. Because the story didn’t end as it should have. Gomer received what she didn’t deserve. Mercy and love. Hosea paid the slave price and reconciled her.
Again, not unlike what God did for us. The wages of sin is death, but God sent His son to pay the price. Jesus ransomed us and rescued us from our slavery in sin. Why? Because He loves me. He loves you. I encourage you to read Hosea 1 – 3. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
Yours in Christ,
The Wednesday Witness