The Position Of Gomer Deteriorates Yet Further!
We have seen how Hosea’s marriage started (Hosea 1:2-9). We have deduced from Hosea 2:2-13 how it deteriorated when Gomer turned again to the evil habits of her former days. Now Hosea 3:1-5 points to a later stage in the relationship when Gomer’s position had deteriorated yet further.
The predictions of Hosea 2 had come to pass in the life of Gomer. Her financial resources had run dry; her men-friends had not brought her the income she sought. The promises of her lovers had not come to fruition.
Perhaps her lifestyle resulted in the loss of her earlier attractiveness. A life of late nights and loose morals would bring its physical side effects, to say nothing of the diseases that would come with her way of living and loving. Now she is in a desperate plight.
How would most husbands have reacted to all of this?
How would most Christian husbands respond?
Most would surely react with bitterness (‘I hate her for what she did’), vindictiveness (‘She got what she deserved’), self-righteousness (‘How could she do a thing like that?’). Perhaps they would have lost many nights’ sleep and would have gone over and over what she had done. Maybe they would have given up on her, and written her off as a hopeless case! Many men would have wallowed in regrets over the past. ‘Why did I ever marry her in the first place?’ any one of them might have said.
But then, many of them would have recovered eventually. Many abandoned husbands would perhaps go away for a holiday, move house, change jobs, get some new friends, find another woman, and bury the memory of Gomer, regarding her as a part of their lives best forgotten! Maybe this is what Hosea would have done, except that God spoke to him.
Gomer – The Wife Of Hosea
Gomer was a girl with a reputation. We don’t know if she was already a working prostitute or was simply a promiscuous young woman by the time she met Hosea. But she was clearly a high risk for a lasting relationship. She must have been surprised and confused when, instead of propositioning her, Hosea arranged to marry her.
By common cultural rule, the decisions were made by Hosea and Diblaim. Gomer may not even have been consulted. Her father was probably eager to remove an embarrassment from his life.
Hosea loved Gomer. Gomer seemed ambivalent toward her husband. Apparently, marriage simply changed the label on Gomer’s behavior from promiscuity to adultery. She got pregnant three times, giving birth to two sons and a daughter. Hosea couldn’t be sure if the children were his or had been fathered by other men, but he claimed them and named them as God instructed.
God’s declarations about Israel overlap Hosea’s struggle over Gomer’s unfaithfulness. Sometime after the birth of their third child, Gomer became enslaved in prostitution. Hosea had to buy her freedom. He then insisted on her faithfulness.
What did Gomer think and feel during all this?
How much did Hosea reveal to her about God’s prediction that she would be unfaithful?
How did she respond to Hosea’s sacrificial faithfulness?
We aren’t told. After Hosea redeemed her, she isn’t mentioned again. Her final appearance in the book leads to hopeful silence. If she responded to Hosea’s love, they built a life together.
Probably the closest we come to feeling what Gomer felt are those times when we act unfaithfully toward God yet he continues to faithfully lavish his love on us. Gomer’s shameful story turns out to be a thinly veiled version of our story. We know Gomer better than we might think at first, for she was what we are – sinners offered overwhelming grace!
Weaknesses and Mistakes
- Developed a persistent promiscuous lifestyle.
- Sold herself into sexual slavery.
Lesson From Her Life
- Unfaithfulness damages our integrity but does not prevent someone else from loving us in spite of our failure.
- God is committed to loving us even though He knows our waywardness and bent toward sin.
When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
Hosea 1:2 (NLT)
|Love in a Broken Vessel, Treasures of His Love Series #3
By Mesu Andrews
Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task–marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God’s message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she’s good at–she survives. Can Hosea’s love for God and God’s love for Israel heal Gomer’s broken spirit?