Hosea: A Love Story

Hosea: A Love Story

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people.—Leviticus 26:12

Do you wonder how God could possibly want to walk your walk with you, be your God and claim you as “His people”? . . . For those who worry that God has a cutoff point or a line beyond which you’d best not cross if you ever want to come back and ask forgiveness, let’s review the life and times of Hosea.

God told his obedient and faithful prophet Hosea to go out and find a wife. God then added the peculiar instruction to Hosea that his wife was to be a prostitute. Hosea found a prostitute named Gomer with whom he fell madly in love, married, and had children. Gomer apparently found her life being a wife and mother stifling; she longed for the old days of excitement and unpredictability. There were no thrills in her present lifestyle so she returned to the old one. Heartbroken, Hosea raised the children and desperately missed his wife.

After a period of time God returned to Hosea with the message to go out in search of Gomer and to bring her home. Hosea found his wife in all her debauchery and brought her back where he continued to love her and tend to her needs.

God uses this peculiar story to illustrate the unfailing love he has for his people. They, like Gomer, had turned their backs on God. They, like Gomer, proved themselves unfaithful to their commitment to God. With indifference and willful intention they resumed their old lifestyle which did not honor God or obey his laws.

Hosea mirrors the constancy of God’s love. He says in Hosea 14:4: “I will heal their backsliding. I will love them freely.” Did Gomer deserve that kind of forgiveness? Do we? God’s love extends beyond the limits of our sinful humanity. He longs to draw us into a state of restoration with himself. However merciful God is he adds this crucial condition to his mercy in Hosea 5:15: “I will return again to my place till they acknowledge their offense.”

Is there then a line beyond which we dare not go because of our sin? Yes there is. The line is a refusal to acknowledge our sin—to confess that sin, to ask forgiveness for that sin. However, once confession occurs so, too, does forgiveness. Isaiah 44:22 states, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to me for I have redeemed you.”

God’s desire that we return to him, love him, and serve him faithfully has not only the reward of forgiveness, but the mind-boggling assurance that “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people.”

―Marilyn Meberg

Excerpted from Women of Faith® Devotional Bible copyright ©2003 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Can you imagine what it was like to be Hosea? (Or Gomer?)

Comments

  1. 3 years ago
    LisaC says

    I was Gomer. I accepted my gift of salvation, then I did what I wanted. I live a life of sin and horrible choices. I didn’t know I was turning my back…. then I saw it. I am so thankful that the Lord didn’t let me go!

  2. This is the second posting I read about Hosea. I think I’ll make that my next reading. I’ve only been a Christian for 8-years. Just when I think I heard all the stories I learn something new–a different perspective. Thanks!

  3. 3 years ago
    Sheila says

    I too was Gomer. God is incredibly merciful. I am so glad today that He didn’t leave me in sin and the awful choices that I had made. Thank you God for your forgiveness and unfailing love for your unlovely people. Now I can be righteous and healed.

  4. 3 years ago
    Diane says

    A great book to read is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It tells this story beautifully! I too am thankful that my Father is always there to welcome me back home after periods of rebellion. Thank you for this beautiful and timely reminder!

    • 3 years ago
      Leslie says

      I will never be able to read about Hosea without thinking about “Redeeming Love”…..my favorite book of all time! I am so glad we serve a gracious God that sees me at my ugliest and forgives me and loves me.

    • 3 years ago
      Melissa Perry says

      I have been Gomer and Hosea because I think in a sense we all have been Gomer (we all fall short)but God has forgiven us and we are now called to be Hosea’s(forgiving others and even forgiving ourselfs for our Gomer moments).

      I also agree with you about Francine River’s “Redeeming Love,” a wonderfully, fanastic book. I loved it so much I read it twice in two weeks! I would also suggest Francine’s “A Lineage of Grace.” It is the stories of 5 unlikely women (Tamar, Ruth, Rahab, Bathsheba and Mary) and how God used them….wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

  5. 3 years ago
    Rancia says

    WOW! What a merciful God we serve. Father in heaven forgive me for all my sins, and grant me the grace to draw closer to you everyday. In Jesus name. Amen!

  6. 3 years ago
    Melissa says

    I too was Gomer. What a merciful God that we serve. It is by His love and grace that my family stayed together. I am so grateful for my relationship for the Lord.

  7. Great story and applicable to everyone in our lives whether they live like Gomer or not. Love, caring and nurturing one another is just what we need today! Thanks Marilyn for this fantastic post!

  8. 3 years ago
    Julie says

    I haven’t necessarily been a Gorner; I’m on the other end of the story. But not nearly as forgiving as Hosea!

    This reminds me to forgive; (7×70 if necessary!)

  9. I believe that we can as Christians, all relate to being the forgiven party. But what about Hosea? Imagine being him and having to not only forgive Gomer, but to also be the one to go after her and convince her to come back into the relationship after all she had done. As a woman divorced after 34 years of marriage, I have struggled with the forgiveness part. And I do mean STRUGGLED! And yes, I have forgiven him. I am so thankful that God gives us the ability to forgive because when we forgive, then healing takes place. When we forgive, our relationship with God is strengthened. I wonder what would happen if we were to go after those we forgive and beg them to re-enter the relationship? Omigoodness! Of course, God sent Hosea after Gomer once some time had passed. I imagine He was doing a work in Gomer at the same time He was preparing Hosea. Lots of good stuff in this story. Gotta love God!