Hosea, Whores, God and You

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Serious Stuff, Words

I’ve been reading through the book of Hosea this week because we’re going to study it at church Sunday night. (We’re in the process of studying a book a week, going through the whole Bible.)

If you’ve never read it, let me spoil it for you: The first thing that happens in Hosea is God tells him to marry a whore.

"God said, 'Take to yourself a wife of whoredom.'" -Hosea 1:2

Now, I don’t know about you, but I like to believe that when God has some work for me to do it won’t involve pledging my life, love, and undying affection to a hooker.

Call me crazy.

But that was Hosea’s call, and he took it. So he goes and marries a whore named Gomer (with a name like that, she never stood a chance at a normal life), and starts having children with her. Gomer pops out a few kids, things cool off, and she starts sleeping around. So what does Hosea do? He tracks her down and buys her back. Yeah, “buys.” For fifteen shekels of silver and some barley.

The point of this whole story is that God is using Hosea’s life as an illustration. (Tough break for Hosea, right?) God is accusing the people of Israel of unfaithfulness, saying, “I am their God, and they are my people, but they’ve been whoring themselves out to false gods.” And what does God do? He promises to continue loving them and wooing them. Look at this- after Israel has run from God, and He describes all the terrible things they’re going to fall into, look what he says:

Behold, I will allure her (Israel), and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her…And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My husband’…and I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”

What God is saying there is, “You cheated on me, but I’m gonna bring you back home. You chased after other lovers, but I’m gonna bring you home and cook dinner. Then we’ll go on a trip- wherever you want to go. And we’ll see that movie you’ve been talking about, and I’ll cook breakfast in the morning. I just love you. We can work this out.”

That’s awesome because it’s not just Israel he did that for. We’re whores, too, right? God created us for himself, and when we give our affections and attention to other things above him, we’re being unfaithful. We’re all hookers, and we all have a price, and if someone or something plays the cards right, we’ll fall right into their arms and forget about God for the night.

And how does God react? Gently. Lovingly. He says, “Come home. I made coffee. Let’s talk about this. Just come home.” And after a while, because he is so faithful and gracious and loving, it kinda makes me not want to cheat anymore.

Maybe God can make a faithful servant out of this whore, yet.

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Comments
  1. andilit says:

    I just read something Brennan Manning wrote about this passage, and it blew me away. Your read of it again – again knocked me back. Thank you, Jared. So needed this today.

  2. It always amazes me how people these days can’t read the Bible & see that it still relates to today. It still lives, it still touches lives. How can it not be the Truth?!?

  3. SH says:

    Hosea is my favorite book of the Bible. I was honored with the privilege of actually being able to love and spend time with a prostitute this summer. You’re right, we are all whores too. I like that we’ve been given grace and can share grace with other whores. It’s not just Hosea who gets to love them. We get to reach out too. Easy? mmmm maybe not. Worth it? For sure. Random thought…”My God still hasn’t failed me” 😉

  4. efchristi says:

    This is the best illustration of the book of Hosea I have ever read. You hit it on the head with this one Jared! If people don’t start to realize just how wonderful God is from this, they will never see the light. He is always there waiting for us to come home. Thank you.

    E.

  5. TMZ says:

    Love the story of Hosea and how it screams God’s ever-faithful relentless pursuing of our sorry selves. Just blows my mind.

  6. jlhall1107 says:

    Sounds like our lesson Sunday night is going to be very interesting!!! You bringing the coffee?? 😉

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