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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's the Secret Within Gomer's Story?

Hope is what the story of Gomer teaches us. God reaches out again and again to woo us and actually already considers us perfect in his eyes (Colossians 1:10) as his princesses. And a part of our inheritance is forgiveness, both at the point of salvation and throughout our earthly existence. Lets see what the story of Gomer offers us. 


Gomer represents Israel, who turns away from their Lord God time and time again. Hoseas response to her represents Gods response to a sinning nation and is Gods reassuring message hell do the same with us. God wants Gomer (and Israel) to see herself through his own eyes: she is lovely and his love for her is not based upon her behavior. God knows her life will be better by staying faithful to her husband, because she will experience love, protection, and security. Shell be able to see herself as cleansed, valuable, and significant. If she doesnt stay faithful, his love for her never wavers or ends.

The same applies to us. God calls us to himself to enjoy his good gifts and to turn away from the destructive consequences of sin, which Jesus made possible by his death and resurrection.

  • Scan Hosea 1-3. Why does God command the prophet to marry Gomer and have children with her (1:1-11)?

Each of Hosea and Gomers childrens names mean something important. The first child is Jezreel, meaning God will scatter,because Israel was about to be attacked by Assyria in the valley of Jezreel. The second child is Lo-Ruhamah, meaning unpitied,because Gods pity had ended. In an effort to bring Israel to repentance, the Israelites would be taken into captivity. And the third, Lo-Ammi, meaning not my people,because God was not acknowledging these Israelites as his own people.

Although the names might seem to spell permanent rejection, if you read Hosea chapter 4-14 (even though we wont for this study), youll see the disciplining he gives them is temporary. God continues to try to woo them to himself.

  • When Gomer is acting in sin, what is Hoseas attitude toward her (2:1-13)?

Its difficult for us to understand all the symbolism in the book of Hosea. But there is a secret within it: God wanting to woo Israel back to himself through the example of Hosea reaching out again and again to his immoral and adulterous wife, Gomer.

Israel (represented by Gomer) is called a harlot, because the nation has put its affectionsworshiptoward other gods, making Jehovah like a jilted husband. Its godsare things like looking to other countries to provide and protect them. Thus, the Israelites show how they regard God as impotent and unloving, thus besmudging his name before other nations. They also offer sacrifices to the foreign god,Baal. Although Israel keeps Gods appointed religious holidays and services, their hearts arent sincerely worshipping. Their worshipis all for show in an attempt to get God to do what they want.

(Because this post is from my women's Bible study on women of the Bible entitled Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series, I will include the questions that the "student" is asked in the book.)
  • What is the purpose of the discipline Hosea gives Gomer (Hosea 2:6-7)? 
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns,    and I will build a wall against her,    so that she cannot find her paths.
She shall pursue her lovers    but not overtake them,and she shall seek them    but shall not find them.Then she shall say,    ‘I will go and return to my first husband,    for it was better for me then than now.’ (Hosea 2:6-7 ESV)
  • How does Hosea try to woo Gomer back to him (vv. 14-15)?
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,    and bring her into the wilderness,    and speak tenderly to her.  And there I will give her her vineyards    and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. (Hosea 2:14-15 ESV)
  • What does his loving heart represent to you about God wooing Israel and us back to himself?


The phrase bring her into the wildernessis describing how God will separate Israel from opportunities to worship other loves.” 

Sometimes God does the same thing with us. He puts obstacles in our way to help us stop turning away from him. (Tweet that!) For instance, we may feel depressed because we are making ungodly choices. Although depression can have a physical cause, God can use even overwhelming sadness to motivate us to call upon him to help us.

At times all of us feel like Gomer. We've made mistakes and sinned over and over again and it's hard for us to feel like God continues to reach out to us. 

At those times, remember how God tells Hosea to reach out to Gomer--over and over again. God is showing us His faithful and unconditional love. He never gives up on us.

(Choices of the Heart makes a wonderful study for individuals or groups. Keep it in mind for your next women's Bible study).

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