Have you heard about Hosea? Not the book in the bible, but the man who wrote it. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but for both our sakes, let me tell the story.
Hosea was a man, flesh and blood like you and I. He had come of age and was ready to find “the one”; that one created with the rib taken from his side.
“When would I meet her, Lord?”, he’d ask, and then one day, God said, “Today”. If only Hosea knew that God was about to set him up big time.
It is still the most amazing match I have heard of, just imagine how the wedding invite would have read; “Hosea the prophet weds Gomer the prostitute”, it was a crazy union, a crazy union made in heaven.
Have you heard about Hosea? No, not the book in the bible but the man that wrote it. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but for both our sakes, let me continue the story.
Some years later……
Gomer was still a beauty to behold, not even the birth of their three children changed that. In fact, it seemed she became more appealing afterwards and each time Hosea looked at her, his heart would beat a little faster. She wasn’t a bad choice after all, once he overlooked her past, she was easy to love. Some other prophets had even become envious of him. Who wouldn’t? Gomer was breathtakingly beautiful.
The past would have been easier to overlook if it did not rear its ugly head in the present, and when it came knocking Hosea was not expecting, it was a sucker punch kind of thing. He woke up one day and Gomer was gone.
It took 3 days for Hosea to come to terms with her sudden disappearance, three days of visiting all their friends and relatives around Judah, but none had seen her. Then he noticed the whispers at the prophets summit that week, everyone seemed to be avoiding him and he later understood why when his friend Prophet Amos walked up to him with the news. According to Amos, Gomer had been sighted at the red light zone all week and they were a number of reliable people that had confirmed this. The council of prophets had even discussed suspending him because Gomer’s actions were such a bad representation and slight to their image. Amos ended by saying to Hosea “may the God of Israel grant you wisdom”.
“God of Israel?” “God of Israel?” The God of Israel had gotten him into this in the first place. Hosea lamented all the way home, “Oh Lord why have you chosen to make a mockery of me, why?”. All kinds of thoughts began to fly through his head, were his children even his? As he wept and prayed, Hosea began to remember when the word of God had first come to him to take Gomer as his wife. He remembered a detail he had not paid attention to. Had God not hinted then that Gomer would remain unfaithful just as Israel had been unfaithful? Had He not said that Hosea’s marriage to Gomer would be a replica of God’s relationship with Israel? This realization did not make it any less painful. The shame, disgrace, betrayal, and heartbreak were all too much to bear.
“Go buy her back!” Hosea had been praying on his balcony for almost an hour when those words hit him right in the chest. Was God seriously serious?? He, Hosea, a respected man and prophet should go and BUY his wife turned pros…(he couldn’t even complete the word in his heart), “God, how now?” Was the shame not enough?
So Hosea bought his wife for 15 pieces of silver and 150 kilograms of barley and some wine, and brought her back into his house, and as time passed, he began to love her again. Through gritted teeth he cherished her, till it was not just a duty, till it was his delight to do so.
Have you heard about Hosea? It baffles me each time when I think of the enormity of what this man (man oh, with blood running through his veins) did.
But let us leave Hosea alone for a minute, have you heard about Gomer? She tells our story; of how despite being showered with love so immeasurable, we keep going back to our unfaithfulness, forgetting that He feels, He hurts and He bleeds, but still He is always willing to love us again. Hosea only had to spend silver, barley and wine; Christ had to die for us. So, what are you going to do about that?