Friday, March 7, 2008

Bible Study About Gomer and Hosea

This week I learned about the life of Gomer in my devotional. Her story is found in the book of Hosea.

As with the other women I have read about so far, there is so much to learn from Gomer's story, but I will just share with you what touched me the most about her life and the life of her husband.

Gomer's husband, Hosea, was among the last of the prophets who spoke the "word of the LORD."
Read what God said to Hosea.

Hosea 1:2-3
"When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, 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, and she conceived and bore him a son."

When I got married, I certainly didn't know ahead of time the struggles I was going to face down the road. I floated down the aisle with stars in my eyes.

Marriage usually starts out full of hopes and dreams, but not for Hosea.

It is difficult for me to even imagine being in Hosea's shoes. Knowing ahead of time that my spouse would be unfaithful.

It is hard to conceive what I would have done if the preacher announced during my wedding ceremony right after, "Do you take this man?"....."Oh, and by the way, he will cheat on you....A lot!"

Nevertheless, Hosea honored God by taking Gomer as his wife.

Even though Hosea was following God and obviously trusting God, he was still human. Betrayal hurts. I wondered while reading their story if Hosea got upset with God from time to time. Did he ask, "Why me, God?" I know for certain that I would have.

After all the pain and obvious humiliation that Hosea experienced dealing with the betrayals of an adulterous wife, read what God tells Hosea to do.

Hosea 3:1
"The LORD said to me, '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.'"

I hate to keep harping on my own shortcomings, but I would have definitely had a problem with that command. I mean enough is enough, right?
But Hosea did exactly what God told him to do. He cared only about God's opinion of him, not the world's.

I know now, just like then, Hosea would seem like a pushover to the world. It goes against common sense to take a person back who has betrayed you over and over again, publicly humiliating you. We judge the sins of others much more harshly than we do our own sins. But God doesn't.

There is a story found in the book of John about a woman caught in the act adultery. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees bring her in front of Jesus. They tell him that it says in the Laws of Moses that because of her actions, she should be stoned. But, this is what Jesus said to them about it....

John 8:7
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

When that scene played out in Biblical history Jesus was the only person that could have picked up a stone and thrown it at the adulterous woman.......but He didn't!

To the world the sins that Gomer committed against Hosea are sometimes impossible things to forgive, but not with God.

Luke 1:37
For nothing is impossible with God.

With God's help, Hosea was able to welcome his bride back home. He was able to forgive her. With God's help, Gomer was able to forgive herself and accept the forgiveness and love that God and Hosea offered her.

Following God may make us look like fools to the world, but we are not fools.
Putting your life completely in the hands of God is the only way to have peace in your life.

Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

After reading the story of Hosea and Gomer, it is obvious that Hosea had that peace. A peace in his heart that the "world" could not possibly understand. A peace that only comes to a heart completely surrendered to God.

I recommend reading the entire book of Hosea to completely understand the meaning of everything God asked Hosea to do. Hosea's relationship with Gomer is a mirror of our relationship with God. The forgiveness that Hosea offered Gomer represents the forgiveness God offers us for our sins against Him. We are not always faithful to God, but He loves us anyway. We do not deserve His forgiveness, but He forgives us anyway. He knew before we were created that we would betray Him, but He created us anyway.

Psalm 139:13,16
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

My mom bought a book for me; it is a fictional story based on the book of Hosea. It is called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book is high on my To Read List. I have heard countless women say that is one of the most life-changing fictional books that they have ever read. It helps to bring the story of Hosea and Gomer to life in more modern times. I will follow up with you when I get the chance to read it myself. If you've already read it, I would love to hear from you as well.

I am so humbled by Hosea's story and his walk with the LORD. Shannon once read something to me from a book he was studying. It posed a question for you to think about regarding your walk with God. I don't remember the exact words, but it went something like this, "If God was writing The Bible Part Two would your story make the cut?".........It definitely makes you think, doesn't it?

Jeremiah 24:7
"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart."

1 comment:

Shirley said...

I just googled Gomer & Hosea and read quickly through your story. I highly recommend you read the book "Redeeming Love" if you haven't already. It is one of the best love stories I have read in a long time. In fact, I am meeting with my book club in about an hour to discuss this book and looking forward to some of the comments.