The Redemption of Gomer — Hosea 3

23 Feb

The image above was done by Ned Bustard and is part of a book he put together called Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups. I am using it for my Bible studies on Saturdays as a way of integrating the arts into my Bible study.

Hosea 3 NIV
[1] The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes. ” [2] So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. [3] Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” [4] For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. [5] Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.


Dear God, this is a hard story. Why did Hosea have to go through this to make your point? Was his sacrifice necessary for us to read all of these years later?

Of the image that Ned Bustard made, he wrote: “In this piece a spurned husband dresses up in a tuxedo and comes out to the street corner with a wedding ring and an offer of marriage to his unfaithful wife who is standing under the street light, working as a prostitute.” As I look at his image, her face is expressionless–only lips. Her dress appears to be torn–perhaps from her customers tearing at her clothes. Her hair is not particularly smooth, but unkempt. And as he said, she is “under the streetlight.” She is showing off the merchandise, her body being the only thing that is important–not her face.

On the other hand, the husband has brought her her wedding ring that she left behind. He has made himself up as nice as he possibly could for her. His face if visible, and his hair is perfect, in contrast to her invisible face and unkempt hair. He wants to love her and take care of her. Will she accept his love?

Father, thank you for loving me. I have been the whore who has left you for others. I have pursued my own interests and sold out for advancement. I have also taken advantage of others for my gain. I am so sorry. I know I’ve repented of these things before, and you probably don’t remember what I’m talking about, but things like this bring them to mind again. And I am also reminded that, just like Hosea was called to a life of pain and sacrifice, I have no right to expect any different. I am amazed I have as much as I have. I am amazed you have answered my prayers in such powerful ways. You have been doubly good to me when I didn’t even deserve for you to be single-y good. Really, thank you!

In Jesus’ name I pray,



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