Last night I was in the mood for a movie and as I searched through Netflix, I was a little disappointed by some of their choices for Faith and Spirituality films. I was looking for something that would shake up my world a bit, but I wasn’t really finding it, until I saw this movie entitled “Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea“. It was exactly what I needed to watch.
The story of Hosea is one that makes many Christians cringe – some because they can’t fathom living Hosea’s life, being “forced” to stay married to Gomer and some because they know firsthand what kind of struggle Gomer was forced to fight, being married to Hosea.
I’m aware that empathizing with Gomer is not a popular side to take, however, aside from my own personal story, we are all like Gomer. You see, Hosea is a story of God’s redeeming love for mankind, despite man’s disobedience and betrayal of God. We are, each of us, Gomer at our truest form. We are each despicable, repugnant and riddled with faults, yet our God loves us no matter what we do. He will take us back into His arms and He has paid a hefty price for us each time we find ourselves drenched in the stink of sin.
1 The Lord said to me, “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 and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”
4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
Hosea Chapter 3
God sent His own Son to pay for our sins, yet we’ve bowed down to other gods, served ourselves before considering God’s commands, and at times, hated God for not giving us what we want. It amazes me that God’s love is so great that He could overlook all of these faults and still pull us to Him. Hosea is living out God’s will in the absolute most difficult situation possible, pointing the way to the teachings and life mission of Jesus. How many of us could say that we would be willing to love someone who did not love us back? It’s not a pleasant thought is it? Could we love a whore like Gomer? Could we forgive her? Could we be her friend? Could we overlook her faults in order to love her to Christ? Could we place ourselves in her shoes and try to understand why she has such a difficult time accepting free love instead of chasing after the pain of abusive and deadly “love”?
Many of us cannot and furthermore will not, yet…we are all a lot like Gomer, married to Hosea (God), yet unable to fully accept His free gift of love – love that covers a multitude of sins and is far from self-serving.
I am married to Hosea and I’m so glad He’s never given up on me. When I saw nothing worth redeeming, He did. When I chased after abusive, damaging “love”, He still chased after me, pulling me toward Him.
1 Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”
9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.
Hosea Chapter 14