Summary: The story of Hosea's obedience to God, ,Israel's disobedience and then God's forgivness.
The Story of Hosea and Gomer
The story I am about to share with you is a true. It happened in Western Illinois but it may have happened right here, in Long Point and Flanagan, as well! Mark and Bonnie had attended school together since the first grade. Mark was very handsome; all the girls swooned when he walked by, wishing he would choose one of them to be his steady girlfriend. He was tall with coal black hair and an arrogant swagger that every other boy in school tried to emulate. Mark was – well – just Mark. Feisty, rowdy, always getting into trouble of some kind and always getting out of trouble squeaky clean; i.e. he never got caught.
Bonnie was a quiet, shy kind of girl, with soft brown hair and huge brown eyes. She was a follower and the girls she ran around with at school all told her she needed to be more out-going. But she never was. She was a pleaser, never got into trouble, was a straight A student and pretty much did what her parents told her to do.
What a shock it was to everyone when Bonnie came to school one day wearing Mark’s class ring. In 1964, that meant they were going steady! Bonnie became the envy of every girl and Mark strutted his stuff even more arrogantly. For awhile, it seemed that this couple would go places. However….. it wasn’t long before we began to notice that Bonnie wasn’t coming to school anymore.
It seems that one of their dates went… too far, and shy, sweet, obedient Bonnie couldn’t say No to Mark……. Mark got to finish his senior year of high school but Bonnie had to stay home to care for a baby. She did eventually get her GED.
But life was never the same for them after that. Married too young, with responsibilities of a wife and baby, Mark began to cast his eyes elsewhere. It was reported that he had a conquest in every town and was rumored to have fathered several more children, all while still married to Bonnie. He would come home, of course, and she would welcome him back with open arms, hoping that he would stop his “extra-curricular activities”. He never did. 4 years into the marriage, they were divorced. Mark never did learn a lesson. Bonnie, many years later, married a wonderful man who became a great father to her daughter, a daughter Mark never bothered to acknowledge. (PAUSE)
Now to the story of Hosea and Gomer. We don’t know much about Hosea, except that he was a prophet who was a native of the northern kingdom of Israel. He began his ministry around 750 B.C. and proclaimed God’s message for about 38 years. His message to Israel and Judah was for them to beware of the approaching conquest by Assyria. The main theme of his message was that Israel had failed to acknowledge God and, therefore, would be punished. Disloyalty to God was the same as spiritual adultery! Israel had turned their attention to 1) worshipping idols of Bale (Baal), 2) sacrificing on the altars of pagan gods and 3) their women prostituting themselves in the pagan temples.
We don’t know a whole lot about Gomer, except she was the daughter of Diblaim. She is described as “promiscuous” at the time of marriage rather than as a wife who became promiscuous during the marriage. Some scholars have suggested she just liked men and was not satisfied to remain true to her marriage vows. (pause)
The Lord tells Hosea in vs 2 to marry the adulterous woman Gomer. All we can assume is that Hosea was obedient to God’s command because we see they have children. But Gomer is not faithful; she loves to run around. Yet, each time she comes home, Hosea reconciles with her and welcomes her back.
Since Gomer doesn’t want to settle down, God punishes her with 3 children that God tells Hosea to give strange names too. The first son, Jezreel means God scatters, 2) daughter Lo-ruk hamah Lo-Ruhamah means no love, and 3rd) a son(Loami) Lo-Ammi means not my people. We will later learn that their names are part of God’s message to the nation of Israel.
Unlike the ending of Mark and Bonnie’s story, the story of Hosea and Gomer has a better ending – sort of. If we look at this story as a allegory, we can compare the stories of God’s relationship with His people to the people’s relationship with themselves. They were like disobedient children, who never listened to their parents and ended up in great turmoil and trouble. Unlike Mark, who never got caught, the nation of Israel did get caught and paid a heavy price for their disobedience and disloyalty to the covenant God had made with them. (PAUSE)