Continued from Wednesday’s post…
“And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.”
Not only did Israel chase after false gods and lovers that were unable to satisfy, she also pursued the things that she thought they had given: food, jewelry, substances, and protection. But the truth was that God had given her these things. Even in her waywardness and disobedience, He was the Giver of all good things, the Provider of all her needs, and the One who protected her from harm. Nevertheless, Israel refused to acknowledge her God and attributed these blessings instead to her false, evil, and pagan gods.
When misplaced and pursued with the wrong motives, love is foolish, fleeting, and unsatisfying. Gomer learned this hard lesson when she decided to leave her husband and children and return to her former profession—a life of prostitution. Israel also discovered the consequences of misguided love as God’s holy anger rained down upon them for their adulterous love for the false god, Baal.
Judgment, wrath, and the holy anger of God were looming on the horizon for adulterous Israel. Destruction and alienation from God were coming, and Hosea’s children bore the warning signs. The future of Israel was looking grim, hopeless, and dark; however, in the final verses of Hosea 1, God gives a word of hope.
Names. Sometimes they’re traditional like Samuel, Ruth, David, Mary, Joshua, and Sarah. Other times they’re old-fashioned sounding like Hazel, Albert, and Eleanor. But more recently, names are new, odd sounding, or gender neutral like Taylor, Xavier, and Punkin.
Nevertheless, names hold significance. Parents don’t generally name their children randomly and without forethought. They typically select names that contain significance and meaning, either in the definition of the name itself, remembrance of a person who bore that name, historical or biblical history behind the name, or simply because they like the way it sounds. But whatever the case, there is generally a reason behind the names they choose.
She was part of a dishonorable profession. One of the lowest of society and looked down upon by self-righteous individuals in good company but sought after under the cover of darkness. Most well-respected men would not consider marrying her due to her sordid past; therefore, she had little hope of ever leaving her chosen profession even if she wanted to. Nevertheless, there was one man who saw her and chose to marry her despite her vocation. But did she view him as the knight in shining armor that he was? And did she recognize the blessing she had received in the form of a husband?
Let’s find out! The woman’s name was Gomer, and this is her story.
“When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea,
‘Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom,
for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.’”
This was Hosea’s first assignment as a prophet, the first thing the LORD told him to do. What an assignment!
It wasn’t “easy” like Jonah’s command to warn Nineveh of God’s impending judgment. It wasn’t awe inspiring like Isaiah’s foray into the throne room and presence of God. And it wasn’t power-filled like Jeremiah’s calling to oversee the building up, breaking down, planting, and destroying of nations. No, Hosea’s calling was much more life impacting.
Currently trending in contemporary Christian circles is the concept of God’s great love, His special relationship as our Father, and that no matter what we do He still loves us. While all this is true, there is an important element that the modern Church tends to overlook.
And that element is God’s holiness.