Saturday, June 10, 2017


Today's Bible study was all about Gomer.  Gomer was a harlot who the Lord commanded His prophet Hosea to marry.  The story of Hosea and Gomer is a direct picture of God's relationship with His nation of Israel.  Read through Hosea chapter 1.

The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.”

When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”

10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel
Will be like the sand of the sea,Which cannot be measured or numbered;
And in the place
Where it is said to them,
“You are not My people,”
It will be said to them,
You are the sons of the living God.”
11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,
And they will appoint for themselves one leader,
And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." 

The Lord had appointed Hosea to be His prophet to the nation of Israel.  Hosea was one of the last prophets of the time.  The people had been through the Babylonian captivities, they had seen the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah come true.  They still had not repented of their sins and turned back to God.  They were still living their lives in sin, wrapped up in their false gods and pagan worship.

The Lord commanded Hosea to marry Gomer, a harlot.  His nation of Israel had committed acts of harlotry against God by forsaking the Lord and worshiping false gods. God was using Hosea and Gomer as a picture of Him and Israel.  Hosea obeyed the Lord, married Gomer, and had three children with her.

His first child was named Jezreel.  This child is a representation of the punishment that will happen to the people of Israel.  1 and 2 Kings is full of the stories of sin and falling away from God.  There are specific stories related to Jezreel and how terrible that time was.  This son is representative of that time, and how God will get His vengeance on His people.

Hosea and Gomer's second child was a girl named Lo-ruhamah, which means, "she has not obtained compassion."  God was so fed up with the nation of Israel that He was no longer going to have compassion on them.  He goes on to say that He will have compassion on the nation of Judah (the southern kingdom), but He will not on the nation of Israel (the northern kingdom).

Hosea and Gomer's third child was a son named Lo-ammi, meaning, "not my people". For all of the years of history, it had always been that, "you will be my people, and I will be your God."  Now, God is cutting off His people.  He is saying that He is not their God anymore.  Is it because He stopped loving them?  No.  It was because they had strayed so far and had been gone for so long that God needed to show them punishment in order for them to come back to Him.

Hosea 1:10-11 show a contrast, using the word, "yet".  Right now, at that present moment in time, the people of Israel are forsaking the Lord (playing the harlot).  But, there will come a time when they will go from "not my people" to "sons of the living God".  Right now, Israel and Judah are divided.  But there will come a day when they will unite.  Look at Jeremiah 30:18-22.
18 ‘Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of JacobAnd have compassion on his dwelling places;And the city will be rebuilt on its ruin,And the palace will stand on its rightful place.19 ‘From them will proceed thanksgivingAnd the voice of those who celebrate;And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished;I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant.20 ‘Their children also will be as formerly,And their congregation shall be established before Me;And I will punish all their oppressors.21 ‘Their leader shall be one of them,And their ruler shall come forth from their midst;And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me;For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?’ declares the Lord.22  ‘You shall be My people,And I will be your God.’”
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." 

Our God is a God of judgement.  He will hold us accountable for our sins.  But, He is also a God of love, mercy, and compassion.  He will unite His people as they were originally intended to be, and He will be their God.  Praise Him!

Now read Hosea chapter 2.
Say to your brothers, “Ammi,” and to your sisters, “Ruhamah.” “Contend with your mother, contend, For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband; And let her put away her harlotry from her face and her adultery from between her breasts, Or I will strip her naked and expose her as on the day when she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness,Make her like desert land and slay her with thirst.“Also, I will have no compassion on her children, because they are children of harlotry. “For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully.For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,Who give me my bread and my water,My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.“She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them.Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband,For it was better for me then than now!’“For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. “Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time and My new wine in its season.I will also take away My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness. 10 “And then I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,And no one will rescue her out of My hand. 11 “I will also put an end to all her gaiety, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths and all her festal assemblies. 12 “I will destroy her vines and fig trees, of which she said, ‘These are my wages which my lovers have given me.’And I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field will devour them. 13 “I will punish her for the days of the Baals when she used to offer sacrifices to them and adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry,And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” declares the Lord.
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. 15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
“That you will call Me Ishi and will no longer call Me Baali. 17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, so that they will be mentioned by their names no more. 18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety. 19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord. 21 “It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the Lord. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil,
And they will respond to Jezreel. 23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people,‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

Hosea begins this chapter by speaking with his children.  He is telling them to give a message to their mother Gomer, who had gone off to harlotry.  The message to Gomer from Hosea is also the message from God to Israel.  The message is to stop what they are doing, turn back and repent.  If they did not stop, there would be consequences for their actions.

Gomer thinks that her life is better without her husband Hosea.  The nation of Israel thought their lives were better without their God.  Gomer thought that her lovers were supplying all of her needs, as the nation of Israel thought that their false gods were supplying their needs.  Both Gomer and the nation of Israel had strayed so far from the truth that they were believing lies.  Eventually, Gomer will realize that she is better off with her husband Hosea, as eventually the nation of Israel will realize that they are better off serving God.

In verse 8 it becomes evident that Gomer's lovers were not the ones supplying her needs. It was her husband Hosea.  Even though Gomer had strayed from him, he still loved her and wanted to take care of her.  Even though the nation of Israel had strayed so far from God, God continued to supply their needs and take care of them.  What a wonderful God we serve!  However, because the resources that Hosea gave Gomer and God gave Israel were used for sin and not for God's glory, they were going to be taken away.  The punishment for the sin of Gomer and Israel is described up to verse 13.

Verse 14 begins to describe the redemption of Gomer and the redemption of Israel.  Even though there was so much sin involved, God was still going to redeem His people.

In verse 16, the phrase "that day" is talking about the final battle in the last days - the great and terrible day of the Lord.  The people of Israel are going to call God "Ishi", meaning "my husband", and no longer call Him "Baali", meaning "my master".  Right now, the people of Israel think of God as a slave driver, someone they have to obey because they have to.  That is how Gomer thought of Hosea, too.  But, there will come a day, in that great and terrible day of the Lord, when they people will think of God as a husband, someone they want to obey because they love Him.  What a contrast that is!

Look at Isaiah 54:4-8.
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;But you will forget the shame of your youth,And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.“For your husband is your Maker,Whose name is the Lord of hosts;And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,Who is called the God of all the earth.“For the Lord has called you,Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”Says your God.“For a brief moment I forsook you,But with great compassion I will gather you.“In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment,But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,”Says the Lord your Redeemer.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

Once again, God is showing us that there will come a day when He will redeem His people.  Praise Him!  Yes, people will have consequences for their sins.  Yes, God will turn His back on His people for a brief period of time.  But, He will redeem His people in the end!

At the end of Hosea chapter 2, God revisits Hosea's three children and they symbolism behind their names.  Jezreel once meant destruction and devastation to the nation, but now it means fertility and growth.  Lo-ruhamah once meant that God would no longer have compassion on His children, but now it means that God will have compassion on His children.  Lo-ammi once meant that God was no longer their God, and they were no longer His children, but now it means that He is their God, and they are His children.  The redemption to the people has come full circle.

Now we are going to look at Hosea chapter 3.

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

The Lord told Hosea to go get Gomer from her harlot life, even though she left him for other men.  The Lord loves Israel, even when they turn away from Him.  He still wants them back.  Hosea had to buy back his wife.  God had to buy us - the payment for our sins was the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.  The gospel is played out in this Old Testament book of Hosea.

Hosea told Gomer that she had to stay with him for a period of time with no intimate relationship with him, or with any other man.  This is representative of a time when Israel will have no relationship with God or any false gods.    Once this period of time is over, in the last days, the people of Israel will return to God, trembling.  Why trembling?  From fear, respect, sorrow, shame, the list could go on and on.  
The Lord's mercy and compassion is amazing to me.  He will always love His people, no matter what they do.  He will always have a plan of redemption for His people, no matter what happens.  God's plan for redeeming a fallen world was set in place at the very beginning of the book of Genesis.  And, He is still fulfilling that plan in the world now.

God wants us to turn to Him.  We have to confess our sins to Him.  That is a part of the plan of redemption.  God wants us to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, but we have to confess that we are sinful people.  Oh sisters, confess to Him!  Confess your sins, turn your lives, and live in the love and redemption that God has given us!

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