Gomer is a prostitute, likely working the temple of Baal. She uses her only marketable skill to put food in her stomach and clothes on her back. She is certainly not marriage material, especially not for a man of God. Yet, in a shocking move, God tells his young prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute.
Hosea picks Gomer. They marry, but they don’t have a happy union.
They have a son together. Then she has two more children, but Hosea doubts he’s their father. The first, a girl, Hosea names Lo-Ruhamah, which means no pity or not loved. The second, a boy, he names Lo-Ammi, which means not mine.
God then prompts Hosea to use his relationship with Gomer and her illegitimate kids as sermon illustrations in his scathing rebuke against the nations of Israel and Judah for their unfaithfulness to God.
Then Gomer runs off and takes up with another lover. At God’s direction, Hosea goes after her. He must buy her freedom. He tells her to stop running around, to be faithful to him. He offers her undeserved love and even accepts her two kids who another man fathered.
Hosea married Gomer even though she was undeserving. And he offered her unconditional love when she ran away.
So it is with God and us.
How far are we willing to go to show love to others when they hurt us badly?
Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.