I shared this on Facebook, but thought I’d put it here for you as well.
Do you always choose the wrong guy? Or the wrong girl? Not wanting to pick someone that will hurt you, yet always finding yourself going back, whether the same harmful relationship or a new one. Is that your story?
Let me tell you about one Old Testament story that sums up the whole. It’s about the prophet Hosea. He lived about 750 BC. Essentially the Lord says to Hosea, “I’ve got a treat for you. You’re going to experience what it fells like to be me in the great love story.”
God says to Hosea: “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”
The Lord wants Hosea to share in his own experience. What does it feel like for God to be our God? Apparently it feels like being married to a serial adulterer. Hosea must marry a prostitute called Gomer.
Hosea does so and, true to form, Gomer does not stick around for long. Soon she returns to the brothel. Perhaps Hosea thinks he’s done his best…But the Lord tells him no, he’s only just begun. God says to Hosea: “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.”
Hosea actually has to go to the brothel and pay fifteen shekels – the prostitute price – to get his wife back. Can you imagine being Hosea and banding on the brothel door? “I’m hear for my Gomer…I’m her husband…I’ll pay whatever it costs; I just want her back.”
He is vulnerable; he is exposing himself to great shame; he is putting his heart on the line again with a woman who keeps spurning his love. Why should he pay for his own wife? Why should he endure any of this? Because that’s what God is like.
God love us; he commits himself to us; he is like Hosea. But we are like Gomer. We ignore Him; sideline him; and pretend he has no claim over us. In so doing we slink back into the life we’ve always known. This is what has spoiled the world. We reject God’s love and pursue our heart’s desires in all the wrong places.
Yet, how does God respond? He is the God who pursues us. In fact, as we will see, he will shame himself in order to offer his love again. He will pay for us, redeeming us at great cost, just to have us back in his arms. The whole Old Testament is the promise of a great Hosea – a divine Lover – who will come to claim his people.