Scripture: So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” Hosea 3:2-3 ESV
Observation: In this third chapter, we read the climax to this precursor to our Gospel. Gomer rejects Hosea and pursues an adulterous relationship with another man. Yahweh then commands Hosea to go again and renew his love for Homer even though she has been unfaithful (verse 1). The Lord also adds that this is how he keeps loving idolatrous Israel. So Hosea discovers Gomer cast aside by her lover standing on the auction block and buys her from slavery for fifteen shekels of silver and a measure of barley. Hosea confronts Gomer, contends that she is his beloved possession, and insists that she is no longer to play the whore—and he will be equally committed to her (above verses).
Takeaway: The imagery of adulterous Gomer jilted by her lover, who she thought would bring her lasting pleasure, portrays our pursuits of sinful, fleeting pleasures. Sin always leads us where we do not want to go. Initially, the indulging elements of a sensual lifestyle bring us a sense of euphoria. Eventually, our idolatrous pursuits will disappoint us when they fail to meet our deepest longings. Moreover, as with Gomer, these sins often enslave us in obsessive and addictive behavior. That’s why we need a Savior.
The good news is that Jesus has paid the price in full. For thirty pieces of silver, one of his trusted disciples sold him into captivity. Then, hanging from a criminal’s cross, our sinless Savior bore our sins in his body, paying the penalty for our trespasses to set us free from bondage and consequently restore us to our Beloved. Indeed, like Hosea, the Father commanded his Son to pay our debt in full; and like Gomer, he now commands us to devote our lives to him just as he is committed to us.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your Son who paid our debts in full to set us free from slavery to sin. Would you please help us live as free men and women, committed to living holy lives that express our love for you? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling