Hosea: An Illustration of Seeking the Runner

Seeking. That is the story of Hosea and Gomer found in the Old Testament book of Hosea is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. The love portrayed in the text is heart-wrenching and convicting. And each time I read this story, my heart is gripped and I am called out in ways I could never have imagined. For me, Hosea chapter 3 begins the most prophetic and convicting of the entire book. A prophet of God (Hosea) has been called by God to take a prostitute as his wife, Gomer. Then later on after they have married and have children, she goes back into her old lifestyle. Hosea goes looking for her in the area of town where a man of God would never be found. He finds her and ends up paying for her. HE PAYS FOR HER. Pays to get his wife back. HE HAD TO PAY FOR WHAT ALREADY BELONGED TO HIM.

God had to do this for us. He had to pay a price for something that already belonged to Him. The price for humanity cost God a whole lot more than 15 pieces of silver and a half-homer of barley. The price for the redemption of humanity was His Son, Jesus Christ.

When I used to read this story, I would tend to get in the mindset of placing myself in the shoes of Hosea. I thought I was the holy one. Righteous one. The one who is doing right in the eyes of the Lord. Because in my mind I was never going to be in a position as awful as hers. Yet in all reality, I am Gomer. I am the prostitute who has deserted her love, her family, her responsibilities. Given herself back into the ways of the world. I am the one who is so undeserving of such a love. Constantly wanting to go back to what I know and is comfortable rather than stay where I have placed. I am not the seeker, God is the seeker.

God is the one who has to come seeking us out in the unmentionable places. We are the ones who are full of shame at what we have done. The ones who are so undeserving of such a deep, selfless love. Yet in the face of all that we have done, God still comes seeking us out in whatever place we are in. He will take our shame and love us ever so gently and devotedly. We can never be worthy of anything He has done. Yet He never stops seeking us out with unrelenting love and grace. How has God been chasing you? Have you felt shame from your past? Sought forgiveness from God, then ran? How are you embracing God's love?