Prophet weds and loves practicing prostitute

th-65“Go and marry a prostitute.” Thus begins the unusual story of Hosea, one of the most surprising prophets to the nation of Israel. It was his prophetic mission to marry a prostitute and love her in spite of her whoring with other men. In doing so, he became a living illustration of God’s love for His people in spite of their sin of giving themselves over to the worship of other gods.

 

After marrying her and lavishing his love on her, Hosea stood by and watched as his wife left him and went back to other lovers. And then the Lord told Hosea, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.” (Hosea 3:1)

So Hosea went and found his wife, even bought her back with “fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine.” (Hosea 3:2) He bought back his wife. He paid for what was already his. Just as God has done with us.

Nowhere in this story is it evident that Hosea’s wife, Gomer, ever cleaned up her act. It’s not a story about Gomer learning her lesson and getting her husband back. It’s the story of the relentless love of the husband in spite of a whoring wife. It’s the story of how time and again Israel turned away from God, and experienced the consequences of the separation, and yet, in spite of that, God remained faithful to her. He found her; He bought her back; He brought her home; He clothed her nakedness and covered her shame. And He does it time and time again. It’s a story about the faithfulness of the lover in spite of the unfaithfulness of the loved. It was to be a real-life illustration to the nation of Israel about the love of God, and likewise, a story to us about the same.

How about you? Are you a practicing sinner or do you have sin completely under control in your life? Do you plan to never sin again? Do you want your relationship with God to be on the basis of your good behavior, or on the basis of His persistent, forgiving, unconditional love? How do you want it? Then that’s what you must give out, as well. That is what grace turned outward is all about. What you want for yourself is what you must give out to others.

But John, how do you love and accept someone who practices sin? I hear this a lot today. I wonder if Hosea might have something to say about that.

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4 Responses to Prophet weds and loves practicing prostitute

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Great Catch Pastor John. Let me plz ask you isn’t out of Hosea that the prayer of a “hedge of thorns” comes from? He prayed it so other men would lose their desire to be with her…

  2. Suzan says:

    What I love about today’s and yesterday’s Catches are the faith required to truly follow Christ. It’s a lot easier to just stay “safe” amongst your own, like-minded group, judging everyone else, than to venture out and trust God to guard your heart and mind and soul as you go. It’s challenging too. We love to keep reforming new “safe” groups that can judge the rest, so we have to be vigilant about continually checking our purpose in every interaction. How exhausting and convicting! Clearly, I can’t do this without the help of God, and thankfully, I never have to worry about God’s faithfulness to me!

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Great thoughts & post Suzan – Luved it!!!

      PS Pastor John or Marti, i’ve posted about this a few times now, I am not getting an email, like I once did, when someone else comment or post – even though I check both boxes -before i post – i even tried just checking one of them…

  3. Pastor Chris Anderson says:

    Hosea has always been an inspiration to me as we see how strong God’s love is for us – especially as we can’t even earn or deserve it. Michael Card wrote a great song to help understand how Gomer might have felt as she was forgiven, accepted back by her husband and yet still appears to follow her old ways. Hosea also accepted each of the children she conceived and named them according to the sins of Israel and the punishments that they will undergo. They also are to be a warning to us as we forget God’s command to love as Jesus has loved us. As we are honest we can see Israel’s sins are also ours. The song is called “The Song of Gomer” and it is in his album, “The Word”

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