Written By: Lyndsay Terry
Hosea - can we all agree this man is a saint? If you know the story of Hosea and Gomer, then you know. If you don’t, here’s a quick overview, but if you want the whole story, all the amazing details and glimpses of God’s goodness, go read the book of Hosea. It’s short and sweet. You’ll love it!
Here we go…
God told Hosea that he needed to go marry a prostitute and have children with her. So he went a found a woman named Gomer…I just imagine, in today’s world, a righteous man traveling to some pretty seedy places and subjecting himself to some things he doesn’t want to see or hear or feel in order to find a woman who is so far gone, for whatever reason that led her there, and bring her with him to a life of wholeness and freedom and into the beauty of marriage. He would be a man committed to her, something she’s never known, fully and wholly. That is Hosea.
Next God tells Hosea to give his children names with very specific meanings as a prophetic sign of his intent toward Israel and Judah for the own sins of prostituting themselves to other gods instead of remaining true to the One True God. Hosea and Gomer’s children bore the bad name of Gomer and all her sins laid on them as well. Her actions were burdens on her children. Heavy burdens.
Gomer leaves her family to go back to her life of prostitution. She just couldn’t play the part of wife. It was so foreign to her and I can only imagine the shame she carried in her heart and mind as she tried to raise children and love a husband. She’d rather go back to the life she was familiar with…it was easier to not commit to love and settle for cheap imitations of it.
But Hosea…Hosea went to find her. His love for her was greater than her sin. He searched for her until He found her where, in that time, women were put up for sale for a “good time”. She was stripped naked for all the hungry men to see and then her value was determined by what these men would be willing to pay for her company…the only thing she knew that she had to offer was her company for a night. Was that all she was worth? Hosea found her there and bought her back…not for a night, but forever. He was committed whether she was or not. He was sold out to love her wholly, whether she could love him or not. He would love her even if she never stopped running. His love for her was pure and whole…perfect love.
My goodness…what a gorgeous picture of God’s unending, perfect love for us. We have run so far at times, haven’t we? We have run to other things that are easier. We’ve sold ourselves for less than we’re worth. We’ve left what was good for what was known…even if it hurt us. We’ve let our value be determined by other people and what we can do for them. BUT GOD. God found us in that marketplace, naked and vulnerable. He beat all the other offers and bought us with all He had, not for a night…not for what we could DO for him…but for His own love for us. His perfect, whole, pure love for us. No matter how far or how often we run, He is waiting at the market to buy us back. To bring us home where we belong. He is committed…are we?
Hosea 6:6 says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
I read that and I just think…God desires for us to really know Him, not just do things for Him. We can DO for God and still our hearts are far from Him. We can play the part and still be found in the marketplace. BUT GOD. He wants us near, not to do things for him, but to know Him. To be committed and connected to His heart. He wants mercy…mercy on us.
Sister, if you’ve run so far you’ve lost your way back…He is waiting for you in the marketplace of your life. He will buy you back, bring you home, and have mercy on you. He wants you to know Him, to love Him, to be connected to His heart. And He’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back to where you belong. He doesn’t want you to be nearly so concerned with DOING things for Him as he wants you to KNOW Him.
It’s time to stop prostituting ourselves to other things…even if they are good things. If they are taking our attention and time from the Lord, we are selling ourselves to a lesser love. It may be a relationship, an activity, our phones (oh mercy, yes), television, our need to veg out, whatever. If it is causing us to withhold our attention and love from the Lord to give it to a lesser thing, we’ve run away.
Pray and ask the Lord how you’ve been running from Him lately. He’ll show you the marketplace in your heart where He’s waiting to bring you back. Let Him.
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