Hosea was the one who had been wronged and humiliated. He was the one following God, but he was also the one called to sacrifice. Not only did he sacrifice his pride, but his rights as well.
Gomer had broken the covenant of marriage so, biblically, Hosea had every right to divorce her, but he chose to give up that right just like he chose to give up the right to seek revenge. He could have stripped her of every good thing in her life and no one would have blamed him, but he laid down his revenge, took the initiative and went to her. Amazing!
When our son Jered was a little boy, he loved to work in the garage with his dad. He especially loved Dan’s power tools. Wanting to direct his love of power tools in a safer direction, we bought him the cutest set of plastic tools and a wooden workbench for Christmas.
The look of disappointment on his face when he ripped the paper off his new tools and workbench broke my heart. I thought he would be excited. Wrong!
After playing with them for a few minutes, Jered headed for the garage to use “daddy’s big tools.” My husband said, “Son, those tools were made for daddy’s hands. If the wrong person uses those tools, they can get hurt.”
Dan then held out his hands and placed Jered’s hands in his. “See how much bigger my hands are than yours, son? When your hands are this big, you can use the power tools.” Jered got the point.
I hope we do. Revenge is reserved for the hands of God. Revenge is destructive in our hands but in God’s hands, revenge becomes a tool of restoration.
Nowhere does it say that Gomer was repentant. Hosea had no guarantee that she wouldn’t do the same thing again. I am sure his family and friends told him he was making a big mistake and deserved better.
True love goes beyond reason, refusing to settle for justice alone. True love insists on giving mercy. Love that never gives up is willing to pay a great price–to sacrifice.
The marriage of Hosea and Gomer is a picture of our relationship with God and illustrates God’s love for us, a love that never fails. Like Gomer, we have been unfaithful to God, selling ourselves to unworthy desires and goals.
Gomer did not deserve to be redeemed. Her behavior did not merit such mercy. Israel did not deserve God’s faithful betrothal. Their unfaithfulness did not merit such mercy. You and I do not deserve salvation. Our sin does not merit such mercy.
We have run from God, straight into the arms of our own selfish desires. Our lives and hearts are cluttered with people and things that we worship. They are false idols because anything that stands between us and God is an idol.
We have become comfortable with our sin and at times, happy in our disobedience. Like Gomer, we cherish that sin, refusing to let it go. However, like Hosea loved Gomer, God has loved us unconditionally–right in the middle of our messy lives.
“Hosea” literally means “salvation” and just like Hosea was Gomer’s salvation, God is ours as He looks fast our rebellious hearts and unfaithfulness – and pursues us. God never gives up on us.
Romans 8:39 (NLT) “Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God chose to forgive us, sending His perfect son to pay for our sin and now He calls us to love the way He loves–with a love that never fails.