The prophet Hosea was instructed by God to marry a prostitute as a picture of the nation of Israel’s spiritual adultery and God’s faithful love toward His people. You can read the full story in the book of Hosea. Today, imagine yourself as Gomer, the prostitute Hosea married.
I think I’ve hurt him too much this time. Surely he’ll stay away. If he knows what’s good for him. Why would he want me? I’ve been unfaithful countless times. Probably even more than he actually knows. Why did he even marry me in the first place? Oh yeah, his God told him to. Well, he knew what he was getting into. And he did it anyway. Why? Why inflict so much pain on his heart? I can see he loves me. I see it in his eyes. I see it when he tightens his mouth and doesn’t say what I’m sure he wants to say. I see it when he finds me and brings me back to him. Each time. Would he do it again? If I played the harlot again would he come? Or would it be too much? Would it reveal the end to his love? Surely no human would subject themselves to such regular hurt. And yet he does it. Faithfully, calmly, though I can see it takes every ounce of strength in his body. Somehow it’s as if the choice is not his. He is following his God. He is surrendering to the Almighty’s will. Because believe me, if it was man’s will, he would be long gone.
What could be so special about a passed around, shameful prostitute like me? But then I hear him talk about his God’s love toward the people of Israel. I’ve heard about them. How God rescued them from Egypt’s grasp, through magnificent displays of his power. Plagues and death and risky deliverance were what it took to free His people. And then He led them in the wilderness even while they complained and rejected him. He still protected them and eventually brought them to a land of their own, a land He had promised to them. Though I’m not sure they deserved His favor by then. And yet He provided for them and continued to bless them. And now they continue to worship other gods even after all that their God has done for them.
Hosea says the Lord’s commandment for him to marry me is to be a picture of God’s great love for Israel. It doesn’t make any sense to me and yet I want this kind of love. This love that pursues and doesn’t have limits. This love that displays faithfulness like I’ve never known. Dare I risk my heart in this relationship? Dare I forsake my adulterous ways? Will I be satisfied by the love of just one man?
Will you risk your heart in a relationship with Jesus? Will you forsake your adulterous ways (the ways you seek ultimate satisfaction through people, recognition, entertainment, comfort, etc.) and be satisfied by the love of just one, your Creator, Savior, God?
By Ellen Rosenberger