As I read through Hosea's first one and a half chapters, I was stirred by the prophet's words to Israel. I can too quickly see the parallel between Israel, Gomer, and myself. Israel has found herself in times of ease and comfort. They have become complacent. They are using the season of plenty, only wanting more, leading to idolatry. Her heart has grown cold towards her first love, which is God. He has sent a prophet to call them to repentance.
God has instructed the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute as a symbol to Israel of her adultery with idol worship. The prostitute, Gomer, is unsatisfied with her husband and continues to work in her profession even after marriage. She is enjoying the pleasures of all her lovers, living in poverty with them. She forgets how much more beautiful she had it with her first love, her husband.
As the story unfolds, I am reminded of my life in many ways. I see the prophetic voice of the scripture crying out to me just as it had back in Hosea's day to Israel.
1. Christ Betrothed to Me
While I was still an enemy of God, His Son died for me. (Romans 5:7-8) I was following every idol put in front of me. I enjoyed the pleasures of this world and thought nothing of the adultery I was committing against my Creator, God. Worse yet, I knew of God in Christ. I had enough “church” knowledge to know I was sinning against Him. I just had no power to stop. (My full Testimony of living in Church but not truly born again)
As I read the story about Hosea and Gomer, I thought, “How can the Holy God allow His prophet to marry such a woman”? It struck me hard in my heart; He did the same with His Son. I, too, was a “prostitute” of sin. Yet, Christ, in obedience to the Father, took me as His bride. He left the glory of heaven and put on a human tent, lived a sinless life, and then died in my place. He chose me out of darkness and brought me into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
What love Hosea must have for God, what love Christ has for the Father, what love the Father has for
2. The Hedge of Protection
One of the first stories I read from the Old Testament that impacted me when I was younger was from Hosea. It is the story of Hosea. God put a hedge of protection around her and Israel. In Chapter 2, verse 6, God says He will put a hedge of thorns around her and wall her in. (Hosea 2:6)
In today’s modern era, we would think this is oppression. However, this is for protection. God knows we have these wayward hearts. The enemy is using all his forces to get us to continue to rebel against God.
In God’s mercy, I have had thorns of protection around me that have kept me from veering off the narrow path too far. As a young woman, I had anxiety that held me back in many areas. Though God did not give me anxiety, I can see how He used it as a protective thorn in my early life. Left to myself, I would have made many poor decisions and gone into the world and enjoyed every pleasure the world had to offer. The anxiety kept me from going too far from “home.” I can see that now as something Satan meant for evil, that God used for my good and His glory. Today, I am set from that “thorn”. However, today, I have the character and love for Christ that no longer needs a hedge of thorns around me to keep me from wandering off into land with other lovers. Christ is my first and only love.
3. Passing Pleasure of Sin
Gomer and Israel were blinded to the pleasure of sin, being far inferior to the love of God. Her lust lured Gomer, and her need for male affection. The pleasures of this world entice Israel. When God called her to repent, they could not see past the idolatry and all the pleasure it offered them. Gomer chose pleasure with poverty, and Israel chose spiritual poverty for pleasure.
I was taken to Hebrews 11:24-26 where the writer reminds us of Moses's wealth in Pharaoh's empire yet gave it up to suffer with his own people. He chose temporary suffering in this life to gain the riches of Christ in the next.
I meditated on the fact that this world I live in is full of pleasures and the access to it so easily attainable. How often the pleasures win my affections. I have “lovers” pulling at me like they did at Gomer. Some days, I can’t see past the pleasure and be willing to suffer for God’s people. I am easily distracted by every shiny object put in front of me. Days I feel like I have spiritual A.D.D. The Bible calls out my name, and then a shiny object comes whirling at me, and I quickly become fixated, not looking again toward the truth.
I wept as I could only get into one and a half chapters; my heart was full of conviction. I saw the adultery in my own life, the idol worship. I became so connected to Gomer and her wanting heart. A heart looking after everything except the one object that could fulfill her, Hosea, her husband.
Christ is the only object that will fulfill my heart's emptiness. I felt called to repentance from Hosea as if he was writing to me. The Holy Spirit ministered to my heart and reminded me of my first love. He gently showed me the empty idols that fill my time. He has wooed me back into His arms and reminded me suffering is more significant than passing pleasures. Telling my flesh, no, being intentional in my walk has a fulfillment no treasure on this earth can compete with. May the God of our lives gently draw you back into His arms so that you may see what shiny objects have robbed you of precious time with the Lord.
If you can relate to this short devotional, email me how the Lord used this prophetic book to draw you closer to Him. Email