Summary: As Hosea redeemed his wife, Gomer, from the slave market, he revealed the unwavering love of God for Israel. This was also a beautiful picture of what Christ would do for humanity as He offered Himself the atoning sacrifice for sin.
Redeemed from Rebellion
Hosea 3: 1-3
Last week we were introduced to the prophet Hosea, and the difficult situations brought upon the family due to the infidelity of his wife, Gomer. God planned to use this most difficult situation to teach Israel a lesson about their sin, and His unwavering love.
Chapter two dealt with God’s punishment of sin and His marvelous grace in the life of Gomer. Although she had wandered in sin, just like the nation of Israel, God remained merciful and gracious toward her. She remained committed to her immoral lifestyle, and had brought much pain and despair to her family. Apparently Gomer agreed to sell herself into slavery to a man, with whom she had developed an adulterous relationship. She remained the wife of Hosea, and yet she is now set to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the slave market.
There are many principles that one could consider in this passage. There are valuable lessons regarding faithfulness within marriage, and our responsibilities to our spouse. While these are certainly needful, especially in our modern day, the greatest principle revealed is the love of Christ for those who are undeserving. I want to approach our text through the lens of the Gospel. Let’s take a few moments to consider the details revealed as we think on: Redeemed from Rebellion.
I. The Expectation Revealed (1) – Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. As we move through our text today, bear in mind that Gomer is enslaved due to her infidelity, and set to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Consider:
A. The Participation – Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress. God had asked Hosea to take Gomer as his wife, knowing she would not remain faithful to him. True to God’s warning, Gomer had lived a life of adultery, bringing shame and despair to Hosea and his family. Likely she has been gone from the home for some time, living in an adulterous relationship with another man. Many of us cannot understand the pain Hosea had endured, and yet God now commanded him to go love her, even though she had been unfaithful to him on numerous occasions.
Unfortunately this scene continues to repeat itself in marriages and homes around the world. Many choose to satisfy their fleshly desires instead of remaining committed to their marriage vows. Even if you haven’t dealt with such infidelity, we have all suffered pain and despair through relationships with others. No doubt, most have endured betrayal at some point in life. While it is never easy, as believers, we are expected to love those who have wronged us. Our love for others cannot be based upon their actions or behavior. We are not expected to endorse or encourage their sin, but we must be willing to love as Christ loved us.
B. The Principle (1) – Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. I am sure this was difficult for Hosea. He may have questioned why the Lord wanted him to provide such a vivid example before Israel, especially when this example required great sacrifice on his part. Through Hosea’s love and devotion to Gomer, even though she had been unfaithful, God would affirm His unwavering love for Israel. Like Hosea, God had not approved of the idolatry and immorality of Israel, but His love for them remained. God would demonstrate His love for Israel through the faithfulness of Hosea to Gomer.
Such love is difficult to adequately comprehend. Most people eventually reach a point in life when they can no longer endure. While their love may remain, they reach a point where they no longer desire a relationship with those who have wronged them. While we are unable to possess or show such love, I am glad the Lord was able and willing. The love of Hosea for Gomer paints a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. Like Gomer, we sought only to please the flesh. Had we received what we deserved, we would have been left enslaved to our sin, and forced to face the consequences. While we were yet undeserving, Christ extended His grace and love toward us. He loved us when we were unlovable! Eph.2:4-5 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)