Summary: White picket fences. 3 cars. 2 1/2 kids. A dog. Perfection. That is what we all think our relationship will be. We place ourselves in every romance movie we have ever seen. In our minds we expect no problems, no pain , no tears, no fears and no reality!
Pt. 2 - Steppin' Out
It's a nice day for a white wedding! He had hand picked her. Unlikely couple to say the least. The preacher and the prostitute. Sounds like a movie title you would be likely to avoid doesn’t it? Directed by God, Hosea selects a prostitute by the name of Gomer or to keep any fraction of a romantic picture in our mind . . . “G”. This unlikely couple begins their life together and things may have seemed to be grand. A preacher finds love. A prostitute finds change and security.
So it begins. . .
The problem is Hosea got Gomer out of the red light district but couldn't get the red light district out of Gomer. How many of us have changed names but haven’t allowed any change in character? Changed geography but unable to let go of the scenery of the previous location.
Hosea 1:2-9 (TLB)
Here is the first message: The Lord said to Hosea, “Go and marry a girl who is a prostitute, so that some of her children will be born to you from other men. This will illustrate the way my people have been untrue to me, committing open adultery against me by worshiping other gods.” So Hosea married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for in the valley of Jezreel I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed; in fact, I will put an end to Israel as an independent kingdom, breaking the power of the nation in the valley of Jezreel.”* Soon Gomer had another child—this one a daughter. And God said to Hosea, “Name her Lo-ruhamah (meaning ‘No more mercy’) for I will have no more mercy upon Israel, to forgive her again. But I will have mercy on the tribe of Judah. I will personally free her from her enemies without any help from her armies or her weapons.” After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again conceived and this time gave birth to a son. And God said, “Call him Lo-ammi (meaning ‘Not mine’), for Israel is not mine and I am not her God.
The instructions from the beginning should have prepared him. But I'm not sure it did. Would it have you? She will have children by others. By the time G has the third child a downward spiral is in full bloom. The third child is named “Not Mine” another meaning was “Not My Kin!” Hosea takes this 3rd child, a son, in his arms but when he pears into this little boy’s face he doesn’t see himself. He had probably already had questions but now his suspicions and worst fears are confirmed. He doesn’t look like me. He isn’t mine. He isn’t my kin. Then it goes from bad to worse. Hosea comes home after a hard day of declaring God’s Word. He walks into the house. The kids are there to welcome dad but there is no wife to welcome the husband. Gomer is gone. He walks into the bedroom to find the note. A short “Dear Hosea” letter. He had hoped his love would be enough but she returns to her previous lifestyle. I don’t have time but read Hosea 2 and you can clearly see the pain caused by Gomer’s steppin’ out. Hosea pleaded with her (2:2). He threatened to disinherit her (2:3). But still she ran off with her lovers because they promised to lavish material things on her (2:5). He tried to stop her (2:6), but she continued to seek her companions (2:7). Hosea would even take her back in loving forgiveness and they would try again. But her repentance would be short-lived and soon she would be off again with another new lover. Finally, God tells Hosea in chapter 3 that he will find her in bed with one of her boyfriends.
I wished I didn’t have to report to you today that what Hosea experienced isn’t a new story. I so wished I could declare that his reality was an exception. But did you know that 1/3 of couples interviewed say that both partners have cheated and that once a person cheats they are 350% more likely to cheat again. Did you know that people are most likely to cheat in the first 2 years of marriage? The heartbreaking tale of what Hosea experienced is common! So, my question is a blunt one this morning . . . Are you Hosea or are you Gomer?
Are you steppin out? Are you crossing boundaries? Most of us hope we will be the one to step up but if we are not careful we step out! There are some truths from Hosea and Gomer’s relationship that I want to mention that I believe will help us guard against steppin’ out.