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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gomer: Given An Unconditional Love

"The LORD said to me, 'Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her ...'" -Hosea 3:1

Who says there isn’t a true love story in bible? There is much that we can learn from Gomer, an adulterous woman, who was written about in the bible in the book Hosea, Gomer’s husband. The year is 722 BC; in Israel, they have had six kings in the past 25-years. One King was killed in battle, but five of the kings were killed by their murdering predecessors.

God gave Hosea a startling commandment, because Hosea was a good and humble prophet, who preached in the Northern Territory of Israel. Next, God tell Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord” Hosea 1:2.

Soon after Hosea and Gomer were married, Gomer got pregnant and gave birth to her son Jezreel. Jezreel means “God scatters”, which could have been a foreshadowing of how God scatters the Israelites.

However, becoming a wife and mother did not stop Gomer from committing adultery and cheating on a husband who honestly loved her back in a time when people did not get married for love. Gomer conceived two more children after Jezreel, a daughter named Lo-Ruhamah, which means “without mercy, or no compassion”.

God could have told Hosea to name his child this to tell the His chosen people that he was not going to have any more compassion on them since they turned their back on God. Then the not-so-happy couple had a son named Lo-Ammi, which means “not my people”, possible a foreshadowing of how God was washing His hand of them. Theologists believe that Hosea did not believe that his last two children were his own, and the names of his last two children show the deep depression and misery he was suffering due to his wife’s infidelity.

So, why did God command Hosea, a righteous man to marry a harlot, someone a peg or two down on the social and moral ladder? Because Israel was not faithful God; they were worshipping false idols. Gomer mocked Hosea’s tenderness and love that he had for her, she took advantage of his kindness and took it as weakness. Hosea was also mocked by his followers because he could not manage his wife and household. After much pain, Gomer left Hosea and ran off with another man, who deserted her soon after, which word eventually got back to Hosea.

God then spoke to Hosea, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods” Hosea 3:1. Hosea then went and sought out to find Gomer who had sold herself into slavery in order to survive. Hosea found Gomer who was chained, sick, dirty, in a disheveled slave market. He told her that he loved her, and that he wanted to be the only man in her life, and asked her to go back with him so they could live happily ever after. Hosea once again made Gomer to the status of wife in his household.

How many times do we act like Gomer and turn our back on God even though he tender, caring, and always there for us? Even when we focus on ourselves, our bodies, and not give our time and attention to God, he still waits for us to come back home to Him.

Even though Gomer failed at her relationship even compared to today’s standards, Hosea could have had her stoned, or at the very least divorced for what she did to him, but he forgave her, as God wants to do for you. Gomer was focused on feeling good and living for the moment instead of carrying about the people who really cared for her. When you focus on your weight and food, who do you neglect? Are you busy counting calories instead of spending time with your family or friends?

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