Friday, October 28th, 2016
Suffering (Part 32)
The Lord said to Hosea:
'Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the Lord.'
Hosea 1:2 (NKJV)
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.'
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.
Hosea 3:1-2 (NIV)
If outsiders read Hosea's story (without seeing its broader symbolism), maybe they would offer comments like these:
1) 'This guy's a quack to love someone like Gomer. He was inviting trouble.'
2) 'Poor schmuck. Were the kids even his? Maybe he thought he could change her.'
3) 'He should have divorced her. Then he could have found a better wife.'
Because the Lord instructed Hosea to wed a harlot and have kids with her. So the prophet found Gomer and loved her. But Gomer's bad habits would re-emerge. Like an episode of Jerry Springer, her children's paternity was doubted. After their third child was born, Gomer left.
She fled into the arms of someone else: a lover who enslaved her or sold her. Even so, Hosea forgave Gomer, looking beyond the suffering she caused. He re-purchased his wife from Satan's grip. Therein, Hosea's love was triumphant: a metaphor of God's redeeming love.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you've suffered from adultery as a victim or participant, then you're like Hosea or Gomer. Hosea felt a wife's faithlessness. Gomer felt lust, guilt, shame and bondage.
If Hosea represents the Lord and Homer represents His betrothed, then God has endured his church's lust in everything we've placed before Him. And yet He still wants us and seeks us. Even more, Jesus has redeemed us, like Hosea had redeemed Gomer.
If the world now lusts for media and even Christians lust for it, too, show them God's ceaseless love and mercy. Seek the faithless ones and bring them home.
To Be Continued...
* Short article, Book of Hosea: https://gotquestions.org/Book-of-Hosea.html
* Longer article, Undying Love--The Story of Hosea and Gomer: https://bible.org/seriespage/8-undying-love-story-hosea-and-gomer
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.