The story started with Hosea, one of the minor prophets, married a harlot named Gomer, exactly as God has commanded. It may be unusual for the Lord to ask something this bizarre but there was a deeper meaning behind this perfectly imperfect love story. And in this episode, we are about to discover what it is.
Let us find out how Gomer is People Just Like You.
Gomer’s Back story
According to the Bible, the Lord has spoken to Hosea and told him to go and marry a promiscuous woman and to have children with her, for like an adulterous wife the land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord. Hosea did what he was told and he married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim.
While Gomer was with Hosea, she had three children (not even sure if it was all Hosea’s). But Gomer could not leave her past behind and she had prostituted herself away from Hosea, away from her children. Gomer has lost everything. She traded a good husband with terrible lovers. However, the intentions of God for Hosea to preach the Lord’s love for His people, through Gomer, has delivered.
see the full story in the Bible: Hosea 1-3
The story of Hosea and Gomer took place during the reigns of the kings of Judah, and the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel. The city was prosperous and thriving. Full of gold and silver. The land, in the command of king Jeroboam, began to rebel against God and would permanently mark a pattern for all future Israelite kings.
“She was a harlot, to begin with.”
Gomer, as she was growing old, led herself into whoredom. Just as the people around her in the Northern part of Israel.
Unlike her days of youth, she was forced to shift her fate as an Israelite, God’s child, to become a mockery of her own people. Gomer was an entertainer for men in their village. She pleased her subjects for amusement and pleasure. It was the only life she grew up in and the practice she never wanted to let go of.
After God told Hosea to find a promiscuous wife, he married Gomer and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”Hosea 1
“Who is the father?”
As a former prostitute, or so she thought, Gomer had enough of being the housewife with only one man in the house, cleaning after him and weaning a child. In the morning, when Hosea was out preaching God’s words, she would secretly lead herself out into the open market, where her lovers lure and helped her find another man to enjoy. And in the evening, she sneaks into the house to play “innocent” with his husband Hosea.
She would do it multiple times as she pleased. Hosea might have been blind with these bold schemes of Gomer, but God wasn’t.
Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter.
Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them…”
After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son.
Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God…
In the context of Hosea chapter 1 verse 3, it was written like this:
“and she conceived and bore HIM a son.”
While with the other two children, it was written like this:
“Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter.”
“Gomer had another son.”
The Lord said:
4 I will not show my love to her children,Hosea 2
because they are the children of adultery.
5 Their mother has been unfaithful
and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water,
my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
As it was written in the Bible, the children of Gomer was not of Hosea. If you would imagine the scene where Hosea knows that what was cooking inside of Gomer wasn’t his, it would be dreadful. We could say we love Hosea and we hate Gomer from this story but, truth be told, we are Gomer. Unfaithful to her husband. Unfaithful to God.
“She left her life with Hosea to be with other men.”
As Gomer went out and left her family behind, she felt as if she has more “freedom” than before. This liberated woman was used to being noticed, pampered and looked at. After the birth of her three children, her body was not like before. She was angry with what she had become.
So she went from one lover to another just to find the excitement she missed all those years. Gomer chased from admirers of her beauty to anyone who she finds attractive.
But those days will soon be long passed. She will no longer find anyone who wants her. And Gomer will realize she let go of her husband to be no one’s wife.
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;Hosea 2
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’
She was passed on from one man to another. From the rich men who can buy her linen dress and gold jewelry to luxurious foods as her wages, up to the middle class who can give her what she needs. Until the only ones who want her are those who can afford to buy her body for entertainment. She couldn’t even afford to buy her food or a roof over her head.
Gomer was squeezed out of all she had and there was nothing left for her, not even her courage to even go back to Hosea and beg for his forgiveness.
9 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,Hosea 2
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,”
declares the Lord.
Hosea bought back what was already his.
3 The Lord said to me, “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.”Hosea 3
Gomer was already stripped out of all her belongings. She could not afford anything and was forced to be human-auctioned to live. Gomer was already dried out and probably unable to please anybody. She would be the last one to get picked. But as she waited for someone to buy her, Gomer heard a familiar voice from the crowd. It was her husband.
2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.Hosea 3
But Hosea told her to live with him for many days without being a prostitute. And even though he was her husband, she will not have any intimacy with him just as the Lord stripped her out of anything she ever wanted.
4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.Hosea 3
God’s mercy towards Gomer.
Despite the message of God to punish Gomer in Hosea 2:13, God works His wonders and will talk to her in the wilderness, where she will have nothing else to boast for.
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;Hosea 2
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
God changed Gomer by breaking her into pieces and made her a whole new person. One who knows that without God, she was nothing.
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,Hosea 2
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.
God’s plan for the children of Gomer and Hosea.
21 “In that day I will respond,”
declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
We Reflect on Gomer because:
Gomer was unfaithful.
God’s first commandment states that we should not have any other gods before Him. But we have it all the time. Anything we desire more than God is our mini gods. We are all guilty of being unfaithful.
Gomer was lost and was found.
In the process of finding out what we desire most in life, we are lose track of what God has prepared for us. We wanted the excitement the world offers. All the man-made gods we pray on and love more than He. They derailed us away from the Lord. It is likely unforgivable but God is faithful and just to forgive our sins.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
God disciplines His children.
God will not tolerate us of our transgressions. He will make us know what we did wrong and we will live for the consequences.
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,Hebrews 12:6
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
He loved us from the start.
Even before sin was mentioned in this world, God loved us.
4 Even before the world was made, God chose us for Himself because of His love. He planned that we should be holy and without blame as He sees us.Ephesians 1:4
God is the husband, we are the wife.
Gomer was represented to be the Israelites and how they cheated on God. Hosea was represented to be God and how He shows His love to the Israelites despite their guilt of unfaithfulness.
As the husband, God only wanted us (His wife) to be faithful. Just as any husband wanted their wives to be. He gets hurt whenever we find another.
We are His creation and He is our Creator. It might as well be normal for Him to get jealous of other imagined gods before Him.
God forgives us the same way Hosea forgives Gomer.
Gomer was an adulterous wife. She can easily cheat on her husband Hosea. This woman was all the opposite of what Hosea deserved.
On the other side, Hosea has the right to get away and trash her up like nothing has ever happened and continue the life he wanted. But he did not. He chose to fight for his wife. Hosea chose the path that God made him walk through because he loves her more than her guilt.
So did God forgive us. In spite of our wrongdoings and unfaithfulness, He is ready to show His mercy and grace. That is how great the love of the Lord is to all His children. He is prepared to sacrifice everything for us.
Jesus also taught us forgiveness
21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.Matthew 18:21-22
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
All in God’s plan to show His love to His people, Gomer has lost it all: her family, her dignity, her integrity, her children, and his faithful husband Hosea. Yet she was bought back to what she was worth just as Jesus Christ bought us back from the wickedness of this world.
God has forgiven us of our guilt by sending his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to atone us for the sins He did not commit. Sins that should have been us to pay. Yet he showed us His love despite our imperfections.
Because God will not be defined by our transgressions. He will not change because of our attitudes towards Him.
The Lord will always remain faithful.
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