The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” (Hosea 3:1-3NIV)
Hosea is an amazing book. It’s the story of one man’s journey to love the woman no one wanted. Some may call him a chump, but I think Hosea is a champ. He pursued and married Gomer, a prostitute. He gave her a home and children. He built a life with her. For whatever reason, Gomer’s found leaving Hosea and returning to her old life.
We don’t know how long Gomer was gone before God tells Hosea to go after her. I love how God shares His heart with Hosea. He says, “Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn…”. I’m sure Hosea was feeling hurt and rejected, not to mention angry. But God was showing him what true forgiveness is. He’s asking Hosea to put aside his feelings and love the wife he committed to.
The Bible doesn’t share any response from Hosea except his act of obedience. I have to believe there was some struggle on Hosea’s part. I can’t imagine he simply said, “Okay God, whatever you say.” He, like all of us, must have had to go through a process before he could forgive. In the end, I think Hosea’s willingness to obey came from his love for God. I believe his act of forgiveness came because he treasured God’s love for him.
Hosea is a champ as far as I am concerned. In the end he went after his wife again. Just as Jesus paid the price and came after us, Hosea chased Gomer. Maybe that’s why I love this story. God relentless pursuit of man is the truest form of love.