A Girl Named Gomer

Posted: February 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

As most of you know the Old Testament is a historical account of God’s dealing with the nation of Israel. From the creation of the first man to the promise of a great nation and the struggles of that nation as God worked in and through them to accomplish His purpose. In 1 Corinthians 10:11(NLT) Paul tells us that, the things that happened to them serve as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

There is one account that is not particularly well known concerning Hosea the prophet.

Hosea 1:2-3 (NLT) tells us that, “When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, ‘Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.’ So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.”

The account goes on to tell us that after this Gomer had a daughter and another son and then she left Hosea just as the children of Israel had left God.

Gomer had everything she could ever want and yet she could not remain faithful. She took several lovers and finally became entangled with a man who enslaved her and kept her for himself. Again, this was a picture of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God and the captivity that she would endure because of her rebellion and her unfaithfulness.

Still, God would not abandon His people and to illustrate this God commanded Hosea to redeem Gomer back from her master, which he did for a little over 5.5 pounds of silver and 10 bushels of barley.

I want you to think about this for a moment. Imagine that you met and fell in love with someone and then learned she was a prostitute. Because of your overwhelming love for her you married her anyway. Things seemed good for awhile, but before long she began slipping into her old ways. No matter how much you did for her, no matter how much you pleaded with her, your words and your actions seemed to fall on deaf ears. Ultimately your beloved fell into a spiraling pit of perversion that left her bound and beyond your reach. The only way you could get her back was to clean out your life savings and purchase her from the one who controlled her. I wonder how many of us would do that. And yet Hosea did. More importantly, this is what God did. This account in Hosea is a picture of God’s passionate pursuit of His people.

The book of Hosea doesn’t record how Gomer reacted to her husband’s unselfish act of redemption, but I have to believe she was ashamed and humbled beyond belief. I suspect she also found it difficult to be a good wife to her husband because of the memories of her perverse lifestyle and the guilt she carried as a result.

We have all failed God. We have experienced His love, drawn on His power, accepted His provision, only to turn from Him to follow our own selfish ways. We profess to love Him, but then abandon Him when another voice entices us and promises us pleasure or fulfillment. It’s all an illusion of course, but at the time we embrace it whole heartedly. It is only afterwards that we recognize our foolishness and we find ourselves wallowing in self-pity and guilt.

We may think our humility touches the heart of God and brings His favor once again, but it doesn’t. The fact is, His favor never left because it was never contingent on our behavior. God’s love is unending and His grace immeasurable. Our finite minds think we have to earn our way back, but that’s impossible. We can never earn anything from God. It is a gift.

In Philippians 3 Paul said his desire was to know Christ and the power of his resurrection even to the point of sharing in His suffering. Why? Because he had a very keen awareness of his own unworthiness. In verses 12-14, he says, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

There was a time in Paul’s life, when he was known as Saul. He was a very religious man, who had no doubt heard the gospel many times, but he continued in the traditions of his fathers and ignored the call of God on his life. Yet in His passionate pursuit of this man, God made himself known in a dramatic way and Saul’s life was changed forever.

Saul changed his name to Paul and chose not to dwell on his past. Rather he chose to press on to fulfill that to which God had called him. Paul did not wallow in his failures or feel sorry for himself because he had messed up. He pressed on.

If you have not already made the connection let me make it for you. Just as God passionately pursued Israel as shown through Hosea’s pursuit of Gomer, and just as God passionately pursued Saul as the chiefest of sinners, God is passionately pursuing you today.

Most of you reading this are believers. You have already experienced God’s love and forgiveness and your desire is to serve Him and receive all that He has for you, and yet you can’t seem to keep from falling into destructive patterns of sin. Let me assure you that God will passionately pursue you no matter how many times you fail. That is the lesson of Hosea and Gomer, but there is more.

God was speaking of the children of Israel in Jeremiah 31:3-4 when He said, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”

Did you catch that? In spite of their adultery, in spite of their rebellion and idolatry, God took them back, but rather than view them as defiled and dirty, he saw them as virgins. They were completely restored in every sense of the word and God will do no less for us today when we confess our sin and come to Him. Whether you are a believer who just can’t seem to get it right or someone who has never heard any of this before, God will restore you. God will never relent in His passionate pursuit of you.

Let the journey begin. Contact us today at info@fruitbearers.com and let us help you get started.

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