The Redeeming Love of Hosea & Gomer
Have you ever read the story of Hosea & Gomer in the bible?
We unpacked it a bit this past week in Sunday School. Whew quite the situation, right? First off, can you imagine a name like Gomer for a woman? Names really do mean so much more than we give credit to. But I've already talked about that before. In my little bit of research I found that the name
Gomer means complete.
There's also a verse I found that goes with the meaning of her name too.
God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again. Philippians 1:6 NCV
And did you know there are two people named Gomer in the Bible? Yep, Hosea's wife & Noah's grandson. (Just an interesting side note). Not completely the direction I was planning, but do keep the definition of her name in mind.
As we were discussing this crazy set of circumstances the biggest question was why?
Why did Hosea marry a prostitute?
Why would he do that? For him, it was a simple answer. Because God told him to. The story of Hosea and Gomer is a picture of Christ's love for the church. A picture of how Jesus loves us! We want to warn Hosea to stay away from a sinful woman. We shake our heads at what he's doing. If he's a relative some of us would probably go as far as saying, "you better not bring that harlot to Christmas dinner...she's not welcome at our table." Some of us, more than others, have a bigger struggle with this. Can you actually wrap your minds around this kind of love? Maybe for you it's a struggle of understanding the giving of this kind of love, or is your struggle understanding the receiving side of it?.
I got my hands on a book many years ago called Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. Yes, guys it's probably considered to be in the genre of Christian Romance....please don't check out on me just yet. Francine is, in my opinion, the best writer of fiction who takes stories of the Bible and uses them as a spring board for her novels. I believe her gift is from God. She took the story of Hosea & Gomer and wrote the most beautiful story that was meant by God Himself to show His love for us. I don't make it a habit to read books more than once, but I have to tell you this one is worth it.
If you struggle with understanding Christ's love for you I recommend getting your hands on this book...I know our local library has a copy!
Back to our Sunday School discussion. Not only could we picture a Hosea in today's world and all admitted we not only would be shaking our heads at him, but we would warn him to stay away from such a woman let alone marry her. To question why Hosea did this made sense to us.
But to question "Why did Gomer marry Hosea...why would she want to change her lifestyle...why'd she do it?" It doesn't naturally occur to us that she's someone to consider.
That she matters.
I can only speculate, and I can imagine that she must've been tired of her life. Tired of the sin. Wanting a way out. Wanting desperately to really be loved. Accepted. It's irrelevant what kind of a person we are because at our core...we all have the same need: Jesus. To be loved. To be accepted. Now we may try to fill it with other things & people. But the ONLY way it is satisfied is Jesus. He's the only piece of puzzle that fits perfectly into that spot. I believe Gomer was searching. And knowing that her name means complete says to me that she completed this story of redemption. She mattered. She needed saving. Christ gave His life for sinners who need saved. She needed saving. Christ gave His life for sinners who need saved.
Maybe you already have family like these two. What about showing them Christ's unconditional love today? Why not welcome them to the Dinner table? I'd like to believe Gomer was redeemed because Hosea was obedient and didn't give up on her. Just like you & I...Christ isn't giving up on us!
Whenever I’m studying someone in the Bible (or a new friend) I like to look their names up and see what their names mean. It’s almost shocking sometimes to see the meaning of someone’s name that you’ve already gotten to know and how closely it just nails it. I have a sweet friend who gave me a copy of The Name Book by Dorothea Austin…it is on my list of one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.