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The Prostitute’s Hope

I cannot believe that the series on sin is already wrapping up, it is kind of crazy how fast time has flown. I am blessed with the opportunity to write the last sermon in this series. We have had some great sermons by my good friends and I truly hope and pray that God has used them to convict and encourage those who read them. If you have not had a chance to read through the others in the series I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this one. Also if you have not signed up for our newsletter, please do so, as I will be re-launching the newsletter mid-August.

Hosea and Gomer…

Imagine you and your wife are happily married (Perhaps this is already the case, but for those who are unmarried, imagine that you are). You have been married for a long time and you love her with all of your heart, you have sacrificed everything for her, and you provide for her and your family. You have a Christ-centered relationship, and everything is going extremely well.
One day, however, you come home only to discover she is with another man. She has not only cheated on you, but she also leaves you to pursue a life of adultery and prostitution. How would you feel in that moment? How would you respond? You love her, you gave her your all, you sacrificed everything that you had to make sure that she was cared for and loved, you did everything right, yet she still not only cheated on you but got up and left you to become a prostitute and sex slave. She willingly chose to leave you, no one forced her.

What would you do?

Today, I want to dive in to a very scandalous passage of scripture, a passage that many people may not be familiar with. If you are, hopefully this will provide you a new perspective on the scriptures.
So, if you would, open to Hosea, Chapter 1. There is going to be a lot of scripture reading in this sermon, so please have a Bible handy so that it will be easier for you to follow along. We will start in verse 2:
When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”
My first reaction when reading this is, WHAT??? I mean, if God were to come speak to me, I would want Him to provide some HUGE insight on what His will for my life is or some prophetic oracle that would convert millions of people to know God. However, the first thing that God says to Hosea here is to go and marry a whore.
Many commentators interpret God’s message to Hosea as follows: the person you marry will not only cheat on you and sell herself away to other men, but she will also break your heart, she will devastate you, and she will abandon you. That is pretty intense stuff, and it must have been the hardest thing to hear coming from God. Knowing that his wife would willingly become a sex slave, and also bear children who would follow in her footsteps. Look at verse 3 now:
 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Hosea went out faithfully, as God commanded him, and found a wife, Gomer, and they conceived a son together. God instructs Hosea in the latter verses to name his son, “Jezreel,” which has a symbolic meaning, as do the names of Gomer’s other children (see verses 4 and 5):
And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
Gomer had 2 more children after Jezreel, but since Hosea’s name was not mentioned in the verses regarding the children’s births, it is believed that these children were conceived by other men. Verses 6-9 give a record of the births of Gomer’s children of adultery:

She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.”

When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said, “Call his name Not My People,[b] for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

What if God told you to name your children “No mercy” and “Not My People”? That is a rather disturbing thought, yet it was given by God as a prophecy regarding the nation’s impending judgment.

So far, Hosea has married someone whom he knows will sell herself away, he has 3 children, 2 of which were conceived out of Gomer’s adultery. Take a step back and analyze the situation; read the passage and try to digest everything that has happened thus far. At this point in the story, Gomer has left Hosea, and is willingly being sold in sex slavery. She has prostituted her body and, as a result, she gave birth to 2 more children. You can just imagine the heartbreak that Hosea is going through, completely devastated that Gomer left him. The woman he loved willingly and consciously got up and left her husband who provided for her in turn for a life of slavery and torture.

Turn to Hosea 3 now:

And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”

God then tells Hosea to go and find her again (AGAIN!). Gomer, the woman who unfaithfully bore 2 children out of wedlock, the  woman who willingly cheated on the man who faithfully provided for every single need she had. GOD TELLS HIM TO GO AGAIN AND not just to take her back, but to LOVE HER. That must have been a heart-wrenching process for Hosea. Imagine the places he would have had to go to, the areas in which he had to go looking for her. He would have had to go were no faithful Jew would have ever ventured. He would have had to go to the homes and rooms in which people were bought and sold for the disgusting pleasure of those who did not honor God.

God tells Hosea to go and look for his wife who was a FORMER prostitute and is now BACK into prostitution. He must endure the painful pursuit of walking the streets that people dare not walk, places where men of God do not venture.

Verse 2:

So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech[a] of barley.

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! I mean, Hosea, she is already your WIFE, why do you need to buy her back? SHE IS ALREADY YOURS!

What was that scene like? What are the chances that Hosea walked into a room where Gomer was chained down naked, shackled, and being sold to the highest bidder? He looks and sees his wife, who is the mother of their 3 children. I just imagine Hosea looking at the merchant who is selling her and saying,

“Sir, that is my wife.”

The man just glaring back at him saying,

“I don’t care who you think she is, this is her price…”

THEN HOSEA PAYS FOR SOMETHING THAT IS CLEARLY ALREADY HIS. 

Here is the point of me telling you this story, and here is what we need to understand: Hosea is a picture of GOD, and YOU AND I are a picture of Gomer.

Mankind is the unique possession of God, and yet 2,00 years ago He paid a dear price; He paid for something He already owned, and He sent His Son, who spilled His blood, TO PURCHASE BACK WHAT HE ALREADY OWNED. 

What was the exchange like? What was it like for Hosea to look into the eyes of his wife? She had to be thinking,

He’s come again for me? I have abandoned him, I have abandoned our 3 kids, YET… He insists on buying me???”

Other men sought to buy her to use her, but Hosea sought to buy her to heal her. Is there any clearer example in the Bible of what Christ did for us? Besides the story of the cross itself?

We need to understand the fact that every time we sin, we are in essence taking the shackles that have already been broken in Jesus’ name and desperately trying to lock them back on. The chains have already been removed, but we seek out ways to lock ourselves back up; we willingly bind ourselves down in slavery when,

WE DONT HAVE TO!

THE PRICE HAS BEEN PAID,

OUR SINS HAVE BEEN ATONED FOR,

WE ARE SET FREE BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, AND WE NO LONGER HAVE TO LIVE IN SIN. 

This was the purpose of the cross, and so the question remains: How do we receive this gift?

Romans 10:9-10 says this:

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Friends, if you have any questions or would like some prayer, please do not hesitate to contact me on the “Contact Us” page, and I will reply!

Call upon the Lord today, repent and be set free. The Lord is willing and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness, and there is no sin too large, nothing that you have done outweighs the price paid for you. Friends, I love you, and God loves you.

 

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