In the story of the Old Testament prophet Hosea, God told him to marry a prostitute named Gomer to teach a lesson about idolatry, but also God’s steadfast love and mercy. Gomer was not only a prostitute physically, but also spiritually, worshipping other gods, which isn’t limited to literal, physical idols. Hosea 2:8-9 explains that idolatry includes giving credit to other gods (or no gods) for things that the LORD had actually provided. God said through Hosea:
“And [Gomer] did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished on her silver and gold,
which they used for Baal.
Therefore I will take back
my grain in its time,
and my wine in its season,
and I will take away my wool and my flax,
which were to cover her nakedness.”
In other words, if Gomer doesn’t recognize the true source of her blessings, God is fully justified in taking them away. Fortunately, He is a God of love and mercy, who provides for our nakedness – both physical and spiritual, beginning all the way back in Genesis 3:21, which says: “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Adam and Eve had fallen and became ashamed of their condition, expecting God to judge them, but instead He covered them physically, but also set in place a plan to redeem His people by the blood of Jesus.
In Gomers case, “And the LORD said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.’ So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” (Hosea 3:1-2)
Fifteen shekels was not a lot of money, meaning other people didn’t value Gomer much, but God and Hosea were faithful and loved her. The real price of God’s people – His own Son – was much steeper, but He decided we’re worth it even though we are unfaithful. It is His faithfulness that really matters.
Therefore, today be thankful! For the One who gives us “the grain, the wine, and the oil” and the “silver and gold” is the same One who died for us to make us His own people.
Soli Deo Gloria