READ: Hosea 1-3

THINK: When we think about great love stories – even great Biblical love stories – the story of Hosea isn’t once that tops the list. But I would argue that it is a more passionate love story than anything any of us has ever seen in a movie theater. It is simply one that tugs at our hearts in a different place. A more uncomfortable one. It is one of the most heartbreaking passages in the entire Bible for me personally. In part because I cannot imagine being in Hosea’s shoes. And in part because I know that I am Gomer.

God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute who is going to leave him and cheat on his love with other men. And then he calls Hosea to go and get her. To pursue her again and again as a symbolic act of the way that God chases after us when we are unfaithful.

Stop for just a minute and try to get a visual of this story. Put yourself in Hosea’s shoes and then picture Gomer. You’ve found her again in the home of another man. She is used up, worn out, disease ridden, and broken and she has nothing left. Get a visual of that in your mind and then consider this:

She has one thing left. She looks as though she doesn’t. She feels as though she doesn’t. But the one thing she has is the one thing she’s never lost even though she has rejected and trampled and turned her back on it. She has Hosea’s love.

And in that moment, that shattered and beaten moment, the fact that she still has Hosea’s love changes absolutely everything about who she is. And it dramatically alters her entire future. She is Hosea’s beloved. And he has come for her because he refuses to let her be defined as anything else. And her future is secure because her future is with him.

I am her. You are her. We are her. I can acknowledge that on theological level as a Bible scholar. But to feel it and to own it, to look in the mirror and see Gomer staring back at me, breaks me. It shatters my pride. It rips open my heart to see the truth laid bare that I have rejected and denied and cheated on the one who loves me unconditionally with a love so deep that he came to get me. And it also gives me incredible hope and an outrageous sense of gratitude. I feel deeply and intimately loved because I am God’s beloved. So are you.

PRAY: Thank God for his love today. Let his love wash over you!

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