There is a story in the Old Testament of a prophet called Hosea. (Handily it is found in the book of Hosea). He received a somewhat strange message from God. God told him to go and get a wife. But not just any wife. Hosea was commanded to take “a wife of whoredom” Hosea 1:2. Hosea was instructed to marry a prostitute, someone who had done unthinkable things, someone with a past full of regret, someone who had been used and discarded again and again. Someone unclean, the lowest of society, one guilty of breaking many of God’s laws.
This was not what Hosea would have dreamed of. He was a man of God. He would not have picked a prostitute as his wife. No-one married prostitutes, definitely not prophets. They were used for the night then you moved on. People didn’t commit to the long term with a prostitute. They didn’t promise to love through thick and thin, in sickness and health. When you went to a prostitute you were just after a quick thrill, not the lifelong serious love filled relationship of marriage. For marriage you wanted a nice respectable girl, not someone who for years had sold her body for money. You wanted someone who had saved herself for you, not someone who had let anyone with a bit of cash use her for their pleasure.
But Hosea followed God’s commands and took for his wife Gomer the prostitute. Initially things went well and they had several children. But then Gomer’s past returns to haunt them. She gets caught up in the same pattern of sin she was in before Hosea married her. She returns to a life of prostitution and abandons her husband Hosea. She forsakes their marriage vows and again starts selling her body, giving herself away one night at a time to the highest bidder. And this is where things get really crazy. For God speaks to Hosea again and says “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins” Hosea 3:1.
So Hosea goes. He goes out into the streets no man of God should ever go to. He searches high and low through dingy dark places in among twisted evil people. He goes looking for the wife that ran from him and chose a life of prostitution instead, giving over her body to all the sleazeballs of society with enough money to pay for an hour of her time. Hosea went to the place where no husband should ever have to go. And he found her. After searching he found his wife the prostitute. And as if to rub salt in his wounds he had to buy her back. He had to buy back his own wife. He bought her back for “fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley” (Hosea 3:2). Hosea paid for his wife who had once again got caught up in a life of adultery. He paid to free her from the chains that kept her bound to that pitiful life of being used and discarded.
It seems a bit of a random story to include in the Bible until we realise that we are Gomer. We are the adulteress. We are the one who fled the One who loved us from before the beginning of creation. Through Hosea God was giving a prophetic message to all mankind.
We are Gomer. We have all traded the marriage vows for lesser things. We have all sought cheap thrills rather than the amazing relationship God desires with us. We are Gomer. Sin leaves us trapped in bondage, chained up, deserving death. But God doesn’t leave us there. Jesus entered the scene to search for us. Jesus, the King of creation, came to earth for us. He went to the place no King should ever go. He search high and low for us. Through dark places, among twisted people He went for the people that ran from Him and turned to other gods, to sinful pursuits, to folly and depravity. And He had to buy us back. He had to pay to set us free from the chains that bind us, He had to pay to cover the debt of our sin. But He had to pay much more than fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. Upon the cross Jesus paid for us with His life. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” Luke 19:10.
It is so refreshing to really grasp the truth that we are Gomer. It may not sound a great thing to realise but it is when we remember that Hosea never gave up on her. He never said ‘OK, go your own way, I have had it with you.’ When his wife fled to return to a life of prostitution Hosea went searching for her. He went to seek and to save her. He bought her back while she was still prostituting herself. He didn’t wait for her to clean herself up. While she was still prostituting herself Hosea paid the price for her freedom to bring her back to him.
We are Gomer. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. Jesus came to save us. While we were still bound in the chains of sin He came for us. While we were turned to other gods, to idols, to sinful pursuits He came to seek and to save us. He paid the price to buy us back. He didn’t wait for us to return to Him, to acknowledge our sin or to clean ourselves up. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. We are Gomer, and our Bridegroom has paid the price on the cross to bring freedom to His bride.
Yes sin makes us dead. The wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God. But we are Gomer! God doesn’t give up on us. Though through acts of sin we turn from Him, He still loves us. He still wants us. He seeks us, longing to save us. On the cross Jesus paid the price so that all who call upon the name of the Lord can be saved. We are Gomer. We sin and flee the most amazing relationship we could ever have. But we are Gomer! The price for our freedom has been paid and we are welcomed back into the fold of God who loved us so much that while we were still sinners He sent Jesus to seek and to save us, dying in our place, paying the price to set us free.
We are Gomer, and through faith in Jesus we can be free. That is something people need to hear. Because there are so many out there trapped in a life of sin who don’t realise that freedom is available. They don’t think anyone could want them because of what they have done. They feel God would have no time for them because of their past. But we are Gomer! We are still pursued even in our darkest hour. Today will you let people know the amazing truth that we are Gomer? Let them know that God pursues us. Before we love Him He first loved us. He loved us from the start. He wants us. He has paid the debt of our sin. He has bought our freedom. We are still loved no matter how far we run from God. There is hope for all of us who call on the name of the Lord, for we are Gomer! #WeAreGomer
Share the message with friends and family today that need to hear that #WeAreGomer