When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord.” Hosea 1:2 NKJV
As most of you know, I LOVE the stories of the Bible! Stories of real people just like me, who struggled in life just like me and who had some hard paths to walk in life…just like me. The story of Hosea and Gomer (what a name for a mama to give her baby girl!) is perhaps one of my favorites. I have read it and studied it over and over. The Lord has taught me so much from it! And just when I think I’ve got a decent understanding of it and the various aspects of it, God gives me yet another perspective and life lesson from it. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was revisiting the story that I love and know fairly well and God did it again! He caused me to see something new from some all-too-familiar verses.
So, the bottom line of the story is this: the people of God had strayed from their relationship from Him AGAIN and God was directing Hosea to marry a prostitute in order to give His people a real-life illustration of God’s amazing love for them. In my own pride, I have often seen myself and the call of God to be a “Hosea” and to love the unlovely. That one is easier to swallow. When God showed me some years ago that I actually was a “Gomer,” well, honestly I choked on that one! Me? A “Gomer”??? But as much as I hated to admit it, I was indeed a “Gomer” before the Lord. Just like Gomer in the story, I had “prostituted” myself with all sorts of selfish, fleshly desires and chased after far too many little “g” gods instead of being faithful to the One True God. The God Who, in reality, was my “Hosea,” Who loved me and bought me back with His own precious Son. I still haven’t gotten over that!!! What a love story!!!
When I revisited the story recently, I was thinking it would just be a refresher course of God being my Hosea. And it was but, oh, so much more! For the first time it really, REALLY smacked me: God knew what He was getting with me before I came into relationship with Him!!! Just like Hosea knew what he was marrying, God knew what He was getting when He pursued relationship with me! Only Hosea, being human, probably thought Gomer’s lifestyle of sin was over…boy, was he ever in for a shock as she “prostituted” herself all over town AFTER they were married! But God knew. God knew when He sought relationship with me that I would be unfaithful to Him, after the fact, and that I would fail Him time and time again. Of course, He wasn’t pleased and my sin certainly was not His will for me. But God was in no way surprised as I chased after all sorts of things rather than enjoy His true love and the abundant life He had for me. God knew exactly what He was getting when I entered into a covenant relationship with Him….AND He did it anyway!!! My God…my Hosea…took me for His bride anyway!!! Now that is a love to celebrate on this Valentine’s Day!
Oh, Lord God…my Hosea God…words cannot express my heart of gratitude for your amazing, unconditional, sacrificial love for me!!! Thank You for not only accepting me as I am, but loving me enough to not leave me as I was. And thank you for your grace, forgiveness and longsuffering in my transformation process. May each day find me more and more in the image of Your Son. In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen!