January 30

Written by Bill Grandi on January 30th, 2020

My title for this devotion is Flirtation vs Faithfulness.

One of the more intriguing OT books is the minor prophet book of Hosea. I do not see it as an allegory or a book of fiction. No, I see it as truth and true. But I also see it a book with lessons to learn.

Hosea is told by God to marry Gomer, a prostitute. Right off the bat that sounds totally strange. Marry a prostitute? They have three children- Jezreel, No Mercy, and Not My People. (Try those names out today!). They, of course, are not named that just for the fun of it, just because God wanted to give them dumb-sounding names. Each name had significance. He was using those names to describe how the people of Israel had treated Him and His reaction to their rejection. Eventually there is hope and redemption. Mercy will be shown to No Mercy; Personhood will be bestowed on those who were Not a People.

But then Gomer returns to her former way of life. Can you say, “Israel?” Can you say, “Me?” But Hosea is to go and get her back-only this time things seem different. In chapter 3 we are told Hosea redeems his wife (v.2). To me that implies she was at a slave auction. Was she used up? Was she too old for her profession? Was she no longer wanted? Was she past her “prime” and her services were no longer needed? It doesn’t matter to Hosea. He buys her back. I have no clue how much she was worth but the lesson seen is not wasted. Hosea gives directives to Gomer which God is giving to His people. “You must live as mine. You can’t whore around any more. You cannot belong to someone else.”

Because I know there is more, Hosea holds some very rich lessons. But one that stands out to me now is God’s conditional but unconditional love. The choosing of the names shows He is fed up with their waywardness. But Hosea’s redemption of Gomer shows God’s unconditional love and willingness to forgive…with directives tacked on. He demands loyalty. He doesn’t want flirtation with the world. He doesn’t want His people playing the whore and give themselves over to the world’s charms.  He wants me to apply that to myself as well.

“Father, the lessons are poignant. Help me to not be like the Israelites but to be faithful to You. Help me not to give myself over to flirtation and being engulfed by the world.”


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Oh, YES, LORD!!!!!

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I second your prayer, Bill!
    This is picture of what Jesus did and continues to do for His church.

  3. What a powerful lesson we learn from Hosea, Bill. The world calls to us constantly, and we can be so easily tempted, but God reminds us that He is our first and only love. He shows us undeserved mercy.

  4. floyd says:

    We’re fighting the fight daily. We tend to use the free will and freedoms to enslave ourselves.

    I’m with you and your prayer, brother.