The story of Hosea and Gomer found in the Old Testament book of Hosea is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. The love portrayed in the text is heart-wrenching and convicting. Each time I read this story, my heart is gripped and I am called out in ways I never could have imagined.
For me, Hosea chapter 3 begins the most prophetic and convicting section of the entire book. A prophet of God (Hosea) has been called by God to take a prostitute as his wife (Gomer), then later on after they have married and have children, she goes back into her old lifestyle. Hosea goes looking for her in the area of town where a man of God would never be expected to go. He finds her and ends up paying the price for her.
HE PAYS FOR HER.
He pays to get his wife back.
HE HAD TO PAY FOR WHAT WAS ALREADY HIS.
God had to do this same thing for us. He had to pay the price for something that already belonged to Him. The price for humanity cost God a whole lot more than the 15 pieces of silver and a half-homer of barley it cost Hosea.
The price for the redemption of humanity was His Son, Jesus Christ.
When I used to read this story, I would tend to get in the mindset of placing myself in the shoes of Hosea. I thought I was the holy one, the righteous one, the one who is doing right in the eyes of the Lord. Because in my mind I was never going to be a position as awful as what she was doing.
Yet in all reality, I am Gomer.
I am the prostitute who has deserted her love, her family, her responsibilities and given herself back into the ways of the world. I am the one who is so undeserving of such a love. I am constantly wanting to go back into what I know and what is comfortable rather than stay where I have placed. I am not the seeker, I am the sought.
God is the one who has to come seeking us out in the unmentionable places. We are the one who is full of shame at what we have done. We are the one who is so undeserving of such a deep, selfless love. Yet in the face of all that we have done, God still comes seeking us in whatever place we are in. He will take our shame and love us ever so gently and devotedly. We will never be worthy of anything He has done, or will ever do for us, yet He never stops seeking us out with unrelenting love and grace.