Guest Author - Susan Anspaugh
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea (a prophet in the Old Testament), the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord. So, he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim… Hosea 1: 2, 3
Gomer was a hard-partying, selfish, self-absorbed person who wanted to do what she wanted to do. She already had a bad reputation when Hosea married her—he knew she slept around. She does not change. She is not faithful to Hosea and she eventually leaves him to continue her partying ways. Why did she marry him? Family pressure? Cultural pressure? Did she think really loved him and that somehow love would change her? Did she think she could somehow become a faithful person if she got married? She starts out ok. She gets married and has Gomer’s son. Then she has a daughter; but who is the father? She has another son. Again, who is the father? (Hosea asks his children to) “Rebuke (plead with) your mother, rebuke her for she is not my wife and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.” Hosea 2: 2
Gomer is one of those people who are so intent on having fun she can not get it right. She has the right ingredients—a husband and children who love her. Her kids seem fine. Hosea adores her and begs her to be faithful (maybe he is too nice?). It does not matter. Her response is: “I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.” Hosea 2:5b. Gomer does not care she hurts her family; she loves what she loves and she loves to sleep around, giving in to every sexual desire she has!
Of course, you know what happens. There is always a consequence to “I will”. Hosea 3:2 tells us eventually Gomer can be bought for 15 shekels of silver (1/2 the price of a slave) and some barley. No matter how young or beautiful she was, she reaches the point where she is no longer desirable nor worth very much. She is wanted by none of her lovers who were so ‘good’ to her in the past.
Maybe you have sold your life away as cheaply. Maybe you have asked a higher price: blinded by your own desires, personal ambitions, hopes, dreams, and illusions of how much better things ‘could be.’ As humans, we fail to be faithful to our pledges and responsibilities. We move from job to job; house to house; leave our spouses; abandon our children; take short cuts in our professional and spiritual lives, focus on what we want rather than what we should be; thinking the ends will justify the means; thinking the next _______ will make us happy.
“The Lord said to me (Hosea), “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1 Now that she is no longer desirable, Hosea is to love Gomer again. He is not just to bring her home and tolerate her; he is to love her by doing it. Hosea is to be faithful, kind, and willing to share; to open his heart to her after she ripped it to shreds. He is not to just go through the motions. Hosea is to love her like the Almighty loves his children-faithfully, when they are unfaithful; loyal when they are no longer desirable or lovable; unfailingly when they are unworthy.