Studying Hosea: Marrying the Promiscuous Woman

Is it just me?  Or do you sometimes find yourself laughing at certain verses in the Bible?  I am continuing to study Hosea this week.  Re-reading Hosea chapter 1, I came across verse 2 and 3.

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ” Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”

Ok. Ok.  So, right here I think that God is just upset that this nation is not being faithful to Him.  And He is just being facetious.  I was anthropomorphizing God.  I was trying to understand God’s line of thinking in my terms, in human terms.  If I were saying this, I would be saying, my words dripping with sarcasm.  “Oh just go marry a slut! For that is the way these people are treating me.”  But then the next verse puzzles me.

“So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son” (Hosea 2:3)

I’m assuming that Hosea was following God’s instruction to a tee and that Gomer was exactly the type of woman that God had instructed Hosea to marry. Had Hosea misunderstood God.  I don’t think so. So, God had truly been instructing Hosea, a prophet and a man of God, to go and marry a woman in her promiscuity.  When things puzzle me from the Bible, I go and speak to God.  I call on Him to reveal Himself to me and the facets of his personality.  He is not like me.  He is not a man.  This is the only way that I can come to an understanding of who God is and his meaning.  I walked outside the warmth of Starbucks, and lit a cigarette and began speaking to God.

You see, in my weakness, I still have a smoking habit.  I have considered quitting and have many times only to start back again.  My mom is baffled by the fact that I will praise God in my car and pray to God wherever while still smoking a cigarette.  And I have thought, ‘Should I wait until a time when I am not smoking a cigarette to do these things?  Or should I wait to smoke until later?’  But you see, my God knows me.  And my God loves me.  Even in weakness.  When I open myself to Him in every moment, He is in love with me.  And His ear is turned, His heart is poised ready to listen even in these moments.

And God said, what I asked Hosea to do was symbolic.  You see,even in the nation’s weakness, even in her failure, I would join myself to her in the most intimate of ways.  I, myself, would marry the promiscuous woman if she would just say “Yes”… “I do”.  Hosea went and married Gomer to represent God’s longing to be married to his bride though adulterous.

Let’s skip forward to where we left off with the end of Hosea 2.  Remember that God has spoken of his broken heart over Israel and has announced his judgments for the sole purpose of reconciling Israel to him.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her…There she will respond as in the days of her youth.  In that day, ‘declares the Lord’ you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips.” (Hosea 2:14-17)

Even in her adultery,  God is longing, looking for ways to make her forget about her other lovers and to fall in love with Him once again.  And Him alone.  I don’t know how many of you have ever had a spouse commit adultery.  I have never been married so I am not sure how much this would break my heart.  But this wasn’t just ANY love affair.  Here was a nation that God had rescued. Rescued!  In our wildest fantasies, a woman will dream of a guy who comes and rescues her out of bondage and provides for her in amazing ways.  (Parting a sea so that we could escape would be nice!).  This usually isn’t the way that our love and marriage happens.  And I don’t know that I would want the circumstances to exist prior to the rescue anyway.  God had been their knight in shining armor.  He had shown himself a worthy lover. He had revealed his power. And this nation, this people turned to worshiping other Gods.  How could they do such a thing!  I was just thinking this to myself when God brought to my memory, the night that forever scarred my ‘record’.

I was in a wilderness of my own making.  Drowning in alcohol and drugs (my Baals), I took a drive.  After going up an exit ramp (the wrong direction) and fleeing from the cops going the wrong way down the interstate, I was finally stopped and thrown in jail.  God woke me up.  I was sober and alive.  He had exposed my lewdness and now no one would take me out of His hands (Hosea 2:10) God has ‘stopped all my celebrations’ (Hosea 2:11).  He punished me for the days where I went after other lovers (2:13).  But at the same time…

At the same time, He allured me with His love.  He spoke to me with tenderness (Hosea 2:14)  For a year, he kept me in perfect peace.  I look back on that time in jail as a honeymoon with God.  Where God revealed that even in punishment, he would show me mercy, tender love and comfort.  Even after being released, I fell victim to committing adultery over and over again in smaller measures.  But every time I returned to my God, begged Him to forgive me and draw near to me.  And eventually, I began to realize that my hope and future was in my husband and my savior.  He had rescued me, allured me, and I am His and His alone.  I hope that my story does not continue to follow the same pattern as the people of Israel (as it has in the past). I pray that I never stray from the place of complete-commitment to God.

Prayer:  Forgive me for those times that I have been promiscous in the things that I loved and the other gods that I chased.  Thank you for your mercy in punishment. God, I pray that you will through your grace keep me in complete commitment to You and You alone.  For in you, I have a hope and future.  You are the husband of my soul.  And I want to be married to You.  I want to be found faithful. It is in faithful commitment to You that I will walk in the path You have chosen for me.  It is in faithfulness to you that I will walk in righteousness.  Keep me on the narrow path, and fill me with your love anew each day.  I want to discover your faithful love for me that knows no bounds.  That love will move mountains and part waters to reveal itself.  I love you because you first loved me.  I pray that one day, as I love you faithfully, I will be able to love you in the same way that ‘the Father loves the Son’.

2 comments

  1. Hi Lauren,
    It was so good to see you tonight. I love your blog and your insights. They are wonderful. Keep that open, searching, and inquisitive heart toward God. It is refreshing! May you be blessed as you seek His heart. He is a faithful, loving, and merciful Father.

    Love,
    Tina

  2. There is the fact of undying love God has for his people no doubt. But unfortunately He does not marry a promiscuous woman. He married the daughter of one, which ends up turning out like her mother and then only after her purity does she fail her husband. This and only this would be still in line with Gods law. He has never been ok about a woman being another mans wife. Which means the first man she was of she becomes his wife. Any after is adulterous but forgivable though at a great cost. But outside of a woman that is a widow we never see him accept any man to go to a woman that is not pure. Though in the old there is confusion about divorce and remarriage, Jesus makes it clear none are to divorce unless for fornication (sins that are clearly explained in Leviticus 18) which include adultery. Doesn’t mean you have to divorce but that is the only reason one can. But Hosea did not marry a prostitute but the daughter of one born of prostitution. Common misunderstanding. But once this is clear then you see he does not contradict himself or his laws of purity. He does however have an undying love. This does not mean he does not love a woman that has been a prostitute or committed fornication, but once they come to the lord, there is nothing that the bible expresses that gives them freedom to continue in sin, which would be going to anyone outside of their first man/husband. Remember there is no such thing as sex before marriage in the bible. There is only marriage or fornication. Once a woman goes to a second man, it is then fornication. Same applies to a man that abandons the woman for another. But if the man is abandoned and she goes to another, he can remarry as there was not a condemnation for a man to remain to one wife. It is commanded that if separation or divorce occur that both remain single. But if adultery comes after this, then one is not bound. The same unfortunately cannot be said for the rules of a woman. Even when a man divorces a wife for another woman, though because of the abandonment he commits adultery, it is also written he makes his wife do so to. Hence why Paul explains that a woman is bound to the mans life on earth. Once he dies she is set free from this law. And this was New Testament explanation so it is still for us now. The biggest difference is that out laws today do not allow poliginy which is why it is best that both remain single. If the man is abandoned and he moves on, the woman is technically stuck for life unless they change the man made laws back to poliginy. Not that I say this is good but that in Gods rules, there seems to be no other way. Though God has grace to forgive any act that is a trespass against him, doesn’t mean we can continue in sin. The adulterous woman was forgiven, but he did warn her to go and sin no more. Meaning if her husband (that seemingly wanted her dead) did not take her back, she must remain single until he died. A very difficult pill to swallow for this generation. But I didn’t write this book. He did.
    So back to the original point, Hosea did not marry a prostitute for the would go against Gods laws. He married the daughter of one that later committed harlotry against him in her mothers footsteps. There is a big difference. Believing men are not allowed to marry divorcees that are not widowed. Only virgins and widows are permitted to God his people. He has his limits and boundaries. Hence the forbidden fruit, not to marry foreigners of other nations as they have other gods (unbelievers), and not to practice lev 18 fornication as other people not of God do. If you have you can be forgiven, but you have to repent and return to be in his grace.

    His grace is free to receive but comes at a price to keep. It is not without consequences. And there are those who fall away from the path and can be erased from his book of life, that were there and will no longer be. Hence why Paul says to continue bearing your cross and to finish the race. Our salvation can be received if we continue to honor and obey him but not if we continue in sin and darkness. Just because we sin doesn’t mean we have a free pass to do so. We repent and return. If we don’t, we give up the free gift that was given. It’s like throwing away a trillion dollar eternal imheritance for quick thrill pleasure. Just because you were given the gift doesn’t mean you can’t throw it all away.

    That’s where we have to be careful.

    Remember the only harlot that we knew that ended up a hero, Mary Magdalene ended alone following Christ. This is the only example given. Any other that were with more than one man was because their previous husband had passed away. And if you’re still in doubt and think that if you were promiscuous and now your done doing all that and want to settle down, remember any act you do with a person even if married falls under promiscuity if the first man you were with us still alive. As even the divorced is considered an adulterous until the first man dies. Remember even Herodias had divorced her husband, the brother of Herod, to marry Herod that had more power. John called it an abomination as his brother was still alive. Even Pharoh knew enough to not be with another mans wife when he learned of Sarah being Abrahams. And then we have Ezra and the people of his time that married to other foreign nations and had children, and before they could come before the lord they had to let these wives and children go because they had defiled a command God gave. His words are no joke and are to be feared and revered. We often look at Jesus as only loving and grace, but he didn’t blink when he called the most holy people vipers and hypocrites when they did smaller transgressions like boasting and heard hearts. But how much more if we take the bigger sins for granted and walk all over his sacrifice.

    Fornication is no joke and must be seriously flees from. And if you didn’t and already walked through it, he will forgive you but you cannot go back to the mud or he will leave you there. It is your choice in the end one way or another. I hope any who read this take His words seriously. Because as graceful of a God as he is, he is also a jelous God and an emotional and many times irrational God that is soon coming with a vengeance to all who took him for granted.

    Blessing to all and may we all be prepared for his return.

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