I recently heard a sermon where the pastor referenced the story of Hosea. If you’re not familiar with Hosea, then I highly recommend reading the book found in the Old Testament. Hosea was a prophet that God told to marry Gomer, a woman that would constantly be unfaithful to him. She would cheat on him and eventually sell her body into prostitution. Her prostitution eventually caused her to be sold into slavery. Standing there naked being portrayed as property that nobody wanted, Hosea is commanded by God to buy her back for a high price.
As a man, the pastor cannot believe God would do this to Hosea. This woman has been unfaithful to him time and time again. She leaves him to sell herself into prostitution. After all this, Hosea is to buy her back for a high price when nobody wants her? I know it would be hard for me to forgive and continue to love my wife if this happened to me. But this is exactly what I did to my wife. No, I didn’t cheat on her, but I gave my body away before I married my wife. I didn’t save myself and wait to give of myself to my wife alone.
You see, Hosea’s and Gomer’s relationship represents our relationship with God. God loves and pursues us knowing that we will not always be faithful to Him. Israel constantly turner her back on God chasing the things of the world and false Gods. Yet, God kept loving her, protecting her and working to redeem her. Instead of turning His back on His people, He paid a high price to have her back. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, came to pay the price for our sins by dying in our place to redeem and reconcile us unto God.
During my time living in guilt, my now wife loved me despite my faults and past. She didn’t care about my past but loved me where I was at. God used her to show me what unconditional love looks like. He used her to help me to forgive myself and to receive the love and forgiveness that He offered.
By law, Hosea could have done whatever he liked with Gomer because he bought her as a slave. He could have beaten her, instead, he took her home to be his wife. God doesn’t shame us in our sins. He convicts us of our sins through His Word and the Holy Spirit to bring us back to Him. Once we are His, He loves us and calls us His own.