Love Still Wins (Hosea and Gomer)
“When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”
READ Hosea 1.
Hosea and Gomer’s love story is one that we all skip. After all, it definitely does not leave a mushy feeling inside. If anything, it’s the type of story that makes your stomach turn. They married out of duty. The three kids were the product of affairs. Two of the names selected for the children in translation mean “Not loved” and “Not mine.” Their story is certainly not the setting for a Valentine romance on Hallmark. But then again, maybe it is a script for a movie - more like a drama, suspense, or horror flick on Lifetime.
And isn’t it just like God to include a plot twist? Is it possible that the story is not about Hosea or Gomer at all? Maybe it's really about me. Yes me! The one who carries enough secrets to fill a whole year of gossip columns. Me. The one who doubts that my mess-ups meet the requirements for forgiveness. Me. The one who begs forgiveness only to turn and sin again a few seconds later. The one who feels forgotten by God but can’t blame Him.
If you are okay with your standing in your relationship with Christ, today’s devotional is not for you. Take a day off and join us again tomorrow. But for those of you who have a keen awareness of your need for God’s grace and mercy to cover you - Hosea and Gomer’s story is for us.
And here is the beauty behind the scenes of this sad tale. God forgives. Yes, He hurts and is disappointed. Just like us. Yes, He wants to move on and try again. Just like us. But somewhere in the midst of the frustration, love still wins. Furthermore, this narrative declares loudly - if God is willing to go to such lengths to save you (and I), then why can’t we bend to forgive someone else?
So as you face the day - and possibly the first person you see this morning (ahem, your spouse), remember forgiveness is an option because love still wins. Mess and all, bring it together to God and allow Him to do what He knows is best.
- Do you think you could have done what Hosea did by marrying an unfaithful prostitute? If no, why not?
- How many times would be too many times to forgive someone for wronging you?
- How many times has God forgiven you? Make a detailed list of the moments from just today or this week. Take time right now to thank God for his grace and mercy!
- God used the story of Hosea and Gomer to teach a much bigger lesson. Through their love story, He illustrated our faithfulness (or lack of) to Him and the lengths to which He would go to redeem us and reconcile us back to Himself.
- If God goes this far to keep us close, we must extend this same grace to others. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is essential to truly experience God’s love.
Read Matthew 18:21-22. 490 is a whole lot of forgiveness - enough to lose count! Discuss with your spouse what it means to forgive someone this much? How do you maintain a spirit of forgiveness and protect yourself from recurring hurt? Is self-protection a part of God’s plan?