Home > Uncategorized > Hosea 2-3: Gomer is punished, restored

Hosea 2-3: Gomer is punished, restored

Things apparently were blissful for some time between Hosea and Gomer, but as the years passed, perhaps Gomer felt the temptation to return to her former way of life. God obviously knew this, because, again, He wanted their marriage to be an object lesson to the Jewish people about how much their idolatry hurt Him.

Verse 1 of Chapter 2 begins with this: “Say ye unto your bretheren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.” Whether this means Hosea’s middle and youngest children had new names or whether God’s commanding the brethren to be called “My People” and the sisters “Mercy”, I do not know.

The next several verses show the direct correlation between Gomer’s adultery and Israel’s spiritual adultery against God. Just as Hosea tried to enlist his children to talk sense into their mother, God was trying to talk sense into His people.

Sadly, neither worked as both Gomer and Israel went their own ways and had to learn the hard way what happens when you live a foolish life and make foolish decisions. God’s plan for both Gomer and for Israel would be that they’d see nothing but misery and no fulfillment in their paths that they’d return back to Hosea and God and realize they had it far better then.

I imagine this must have been a heartache for Hosea to see his wife, whom I’m sure he loved and probably was very attracted to, reject him and go on her way and return to her old life. Even today, when a spouse learns they’ve been cheated on, it’s an extremely bitter pill to swallow. The recovery time takes years, if ever. And at this point of the book, I imagine Hosea was praying that Gomer would return to her senses and come home and, while facing judgment, would also face forgiveness and mercy.

In verse 23, God pledges, once Israel has returned from her wickedness and idolatry, to “sow her unto me in the earth,” and to have mercy and restore His people and for them to acknowledge Him as their God.”

Chapter 3 begins the restoration process for Gomer, who apparently has faced the further public humiliation of being sold on the market as a slave (which, of course, was common when someone accumulated more debts than they could pay). God tells Hosea to love an adulteress as God loves Israel in all its seeking after idols. On the market, Hosea bought her back for 15 pieces of silver, and 1.5 homers of barley.

In verse 3, Hosea tells Gomer: “Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.”

He wanted her back as his wife and pledged that both would be faithful to each other. There would be no revenge extramarital sex for Hosea. By this time, I believe Gomer was the Prodigal Wife and was more than glad to return to Hosea. She had learned her lesson, just as David had painfully learned his lesson about adultery a few centuries before.

Verse 4 tells us that Israel would abide many days without a king or prince. Whether this refers to the Babylonian Captivity or the nearly-1,900-year gap between Jerusalem falling in A.D. 70 and statehood for Israel in 1948 or perhaps even a future event, I do not know. But, eventually, they would return to seeking God.

Richard Zowie is going through the Bible in his Richard’s Two Shekels blog when not commenting on Christian issues or blogging about his Christian walk. Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

  1. August 4, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    How much more punishing does Israel need? I would think six million Jews killed during WWII is enough, no too mention the Assyrian captivity, Babylonian captivity, and the seige f Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Jews have suffered enough punishment all ready. This is one of the reasons why I am not a dispensational escatologist. I am not a LaHaye end times believer, but all I know is the time for all of us is short, and either way we must win as many as possible while there is still time.

    • August 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Good thoughts, patriot. some would say the “suffering” hosea predicted already took place when israel went to babylon. perhaps.

  2. Trey
    August 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I struggled with the same idea for awhile, until i realized that all of mankind deserves hell for any sin. The nation of Israel broke its covenant with God many, many times, and because they broke the covenant, God was not required to bless them as a nation.

    I am glad that our relationship with God is not based on a conditional covenant with God, like Israel, which is based on our performance. But instead, it is based on the unconditional fact of Jesus’ death on the cross.

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