I find the book of Hosea very fascinating. God tells this man to marry a prostitute. When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, He said to him, "Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the Lord."
First of all, I know that in my heart of hearts, if anyone told me to marry a male prostitute – I would not believe it was God’s instructions- not a chance. This story seems to violate all the things we know God to be, yet it reveals God’s character all the more.
Hosea obeyed God and went ahead and married a well-known prostitute named Gomer. They had kids, but she was not free from her old life yet. She ran away from her husband many times, going back to her life of prostitution.
I would like to think that someone in Gomer's situation would be thrilled to find a husband and leave that kind of life behind. I imagine other prostitutes were looking at her thinking: if I were in her shoes I would never go back to that lifestyle.
Why would someone prefer to go prostitute herself if she could stay home with her loving, God-fearing husband and raise kids? It doesn’t make sense, right?
But this woman had her struggle, a struggle that no one else could understand. Why can't you stop being mean? Why can't you stop cheating? Why can't you stop the drugs? Why can't you stop stealing? Why can't you stop watching porn? Why can't you JUST Stop...?!
That was her struggle, and for a time she continued to struggle with that lifestyle and mentality. Gomer was so accustomed to the old life that she didn't know what to do with herself and how to live free. She was insecure, and she probably felt she wasn't good enough and maybe even felt undeserving of the love her husband was lavishing on her.
Most of us have been Gomer at times. We've thought like her and may have acted like her. We are so used to our old ways of living, even when it's not the best. It's comfortable, but not best. Sometimes insecurities keep us far from God. We are afraid that our sin is so bad that God cannot truly forgive us.
Even when we try hard to be good and do the right thing, we fall short and we wonder what’s the point in asking for forgiveness and trying to change when we keep on doing the same thing?
Paul wrote: For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
The story of Gomer and Hosea doesn't end there. God came back to Hosea and said to him, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
This passage is a perfect example of God's love towards us. He said, "Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites." The Israelites, the faithless, rebellious, idolatrous, disobedient nation that kept wanting to go back to their life of slavery. God said, "Love her as I have loved them."
Even though we make many mistakes and run from His presence, His love keeps pursuing us. He never gives up on us.
Although Gomer already belonged to Hosea, Hosea went again and paid the full price for her and brought her back to be his wife. He brought her home again and promised her that he would continue to be faithful to her.
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethe of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” Hosea 3:2-3
God did the same for you and me; He paid the full price, purchasing us from our former spiritual enemy. Although we are God's already (since He created us), He had to redeem us from our sin. So he sent Jesus to redeem us with His precious blood.
I don’t know what you might be dealing with, but sometimes change can take time, and you may feel like giving up on God and even yourself.
Understand that we have have shortcomings. But no matter what – God never gives up on us. He has already paid the price for all of that and He is just waiting for us to come home and fellowship with Him.
God's love pursues us relentlessly and forever. He is the one who leaves the ninety-nine for the one.