I admit to being very intrigued by the story of Hosea and Gomer. It has been on my mind constantly over the past week, and I continue to try and mine out the gold from its depths.
The one thing I ponder was Gomer’s desire to repeatedly run away from Hosea. In Hosea, I think she had everything a woman could want. She had a home, security, a man who obviously loved her unconditionally, was unbelievably forgiving and forbearing, generous and kind, gracious and merciful. Who could ask for anything more? Many women I know would settle for two or three things from the list and be content!
What were her thoughts before she left each time? Did she think life was better “out there” or that she was unworthy of Hosea’s love? There is nothing said about her repentance and in fact the Scripture says God told Hosea “Go and get your wife again. Bring her back to you and love her, even though she loves adultery” (Hosea 3:1). His wife loved her adultery! I want to be gentle with her and think that she must have had some other motive or some sane reason to continue to live an adulterous but the Word is crystal clear, she loved her adultery. Wow.
Just like us.
We run willingly to our various lovers in this world; those things we think will bring us comfort and peace and release. Rather than finding anything we truly desire we find dark hopelessness, emptiness, slavery. Our burdens increase and our misery deepens.
The Lord comes for us each time, seeks us out and finds us among the filth and ashes. He tells us He loves us.
How Lord, how?
We don’t want Him to find us or love us anymore; because it reminds us of how much we need Him. (Yet we also fear his not loving us anymore!) We fear the power He has over us (many of us waiting to be squashed like a bug or struck by lightning for our inadequacies), thinking on some irrational level that He might use it against us in some way. Use His power to harm us or make fools of us for trusting and loving Him.
He reminds us of our belonging to Him, our being His Bride and how much He cherishes us and would never harm or abuse us. All our harlotry is forgotten (forgiven!) when we return to Him. He envelops us in His massive and loving arms, His embrace warm and welcoming.
In spite of our shame He speaks His words of love to us…
Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved you and chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes…He is so rich in kindness that he purchased your freedom through the blood of his Son, and your sins are forgiven. He has showered his kindness on you, along with all wisdom and understanding… Furthermore, because of Christ, you have received an inheritance from God, for he chose you from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. (Ephesians 1:4, 7, 8, 11)
We are richly, abundantly blessed.