God asked the prophet Hosea to enter into holy matrimony with a woman of ill-repute named Gomer.
In the beginning, things were beautiful. They built a house and started a family. However, with the passing of years, Gomer's absences from home grew more frequent and prolonged.
Hosea was concerned about his wife's fidelity. Soon it was discovered that his suspicions were justified.
Gomer wandered far from home and, in time, bore the children of other men. Her shameful duplicity was no longer hidden.
Hosea mourned as though his bride had died. There's something deeply moving about covenantal love.
As Gomer became more deeply mired in sin, curses overcome her. She became so destitute that she had to sell herself into slavery.
Most would, understandably, renounce such dishonor, but Hosea was not like others. God whispered in his ear, saying:
"Go, again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just as the Lord loves the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love raisin cakes" (Hosea 3:1).
Though his bride was a wretched whore, he sought her out. It is difficult to imagine how one could love so deeply. Yet, somehow Hosea did.
He finally found her chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was. Though she was unfaithful, Hosea remained.
At an exorbitant price, he purchased Gomer. She was carried home and restored to her position as his wife.
"So I purchased her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and for a homer of barley, and a half homer of barley. Then I said to her, "You will remain with me many days. You will not play the whore, and you will not belong to another man. And also I will be with you." (Hos. 3:2-3).
In many ways, Hosea is a prophetic window into the covenantal love of God. Even in the face of unfaithfulness and deceit, He is in active pursuit of His bride.
God's love is an unfailing love.
J.D. King is the director of the World Revival Network and associate pastor of World Revival Church.
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