Is There Hope For These: The Whore, The Sinner & The Adulteress

Today’s selected reading is found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Hosea the son of Beeri, which he received during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, as well as during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first six chapters of this Old Testament book. THERE COMES A SECOND VOICE! THERE IS A SECOND VOICE! A SECOND PROPHETIC VOICE! A SECOND PROPHETIC MESSAGE! THE VOICES OF HOSEA THE SON OF BEERI, AND ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOZ! “And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD” (Hosea 1:2) SO HE WENT AND TOOK GOMER THE DAUGHTER OF DIBLAIM! JEZREEL: FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND I WILL AVENGE THE BLOOD OF JEZREEL UPON THE HOUES OF JEHU, AND WILL CAUSE TO CEASE THE KINGDOM OF THE HOUES OF ISRAEL! I WILL BREAK THE BOW OF ISRAEL IN THE VALLEY OF JEZREEL! CALL HER NAME LO-RUHAMMAH: FOR I WILL NO MORE HAVE MERCY UPON THE HOUES OF ISRAEL: BUT I WILL UTTERLY TAKE THEM AWAY! BUT I WILL HAVE MERCY UPON THE HOUES OF JUDAH, AND WILL SAVE THEM BY THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND WILL NOT SAVE THEM BY BOW, NOR BY SWORD, NOR BY BATTLE, BY HORSES, NOR BY HORSEMEN! CALL HIS NAME LO-AMMI: FOR YE ARE NOT MY PEOPLE, AND I WILL NOT BE YOUR GOD! [“Yet the number of th3e children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel”]

            PLEAD WITH YOUR MOTHER, PLEAD! FOR SHE IS NOT MY WIFE, NEITHER AM I HER HUSBAND: LET HER THEREFORE PUT AWAY HER WHOREDOMS OUT OF HER SIGHT, AND HER ADULTERIES FROM BETWEEN HER BREASTS; LEST I STRIP HER NAKED, AND SET HER AS IN THE DAY THAT SHE WAS BORN, AND MAKE HER AS A WILDERNESS, AND SET HER LIKE A DRY LAND, AND SLAY HER WITH THIRST! I WILL NOT HAVE MERCY UPON HER CHILDREN; FOR THEY BE THE CHILDREN OF WHOREDOMS! FOR THEIR MOTHER HATH PLAYED THE HARLOT: SHE THATH CONCEIVED THEM HATH DONE SHAMEFULLY: FOR SHE SAID, I WILL GO AFTER MY LOVERS, THAT GIVE ME MY BREAD AND MY WATER, MY WOOL AND MY FLAX, MINE OIL AND MY DRINK! [THEREFORE, BEHOLD, I WILL HEDGE UP THY WAY WITH THORNS, AND MAKE A WALL, THAT SHE SHALL NOT FIND HER PATHS! SHE SHALL FOLLOW AFTER HER LOVERS, BUT SHE SHALL NOT OVERTAKE THEM; AND SHE SHALL SEEK THEM, BUT SHALL NOT FIND THEM! THEN SHALL SHE SAY, I WILL GO AND RETURN TO MY FIRST HUSBAND; FOR THEN WAS IT BETTER WITH ME THAN NOW!] For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal” THEREFORE WILL IR ETURN, AND TAKE AWAY MY CORN IN THE TIME THEREOF, AND MY WINE IN THE SEASON THEREOF, AND WILL RECOVER MY WOOL AND MY FLAX GIVEN TO COVER HER NAKEDNESS! I WILL DISCOVER HER LEWDNESS IN THE SIGHT OF HER LOVERS, AND NONE SHALL DELIVER HER OUT OF MINE HAND! I WILL ALSO CAUSE ALL HER MIRTH TO CEASE, HER FEAST DAYS, HER NEW MOONS, AND HER SABBATHS, AND ALL HER SOLEMN FEASTS! I WILL DESTROY HER VINES AND HER FIG TREES, WHEREOF SHE HATH SAID, THESE ARE MY REWARDS THAT MY LOVERS HAVE GIVEN ME!

            I WILL VISIT UPON HER THE DAYS OF BAALIM, WHEREIN SHE BURNED INCENSE TO THEM, AND SHE DECKED HERSELF WITH HER EARRINGS AND HER JEWELS, AND SHE WENT AFTER HER LOVERS, AND FORGAT ME, SAITH THE LORD!

            “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name”

            And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know that the LORD. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God”

            THEN THE LORD SAID UNTO ME, GO YET, LOVE A WOMAN BELOVED OF HER FRIEND, YET AN ADULTERESS, ACCORDING TO THE LOVE OF THE LORD TOWARD THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, WHO LOOK TO OTHER GODS, AND LOVE FLAGONS OF WINE! [“So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: and I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days: thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee”] FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL ABIDE MANY DAYS WITHOUT A KING, AND WITHOUT A PRINCE, AND WITHOUT A SACRIFICE, AND WITHOUT AN IMAGE, AND WITHOUT AN EPHOD, AND WITHOUT TERAPHIM: AFTERWARD SHALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL RETURN, AND SEEK THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND DAVID THEIR KING; AND SHALL FEAR THE LORD AND HIS GOODNESS IN THE LATTER DAYS!

            “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: For the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood”

            “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And their shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings”

            “They shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.”

            When you come to the prophetic book of Hosea you will find what is perhaps the most ironic and strange of all the books in the Old Testament. As you read the words and language that is contained within this prophetic book you will find a man who not only began prophesying during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah, but you will also find a man who was given one of the most confusing instructions from the LORD. Under normal or any other circumstances you wouldn’t normally find any man going into a brothel to find a wife, nor would you find a man going to the street corners of a major city in search for love. The more you read the prophetic book of Hosea the more you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that Hosea was a man who was called and instructed by the LORD to take unto himself a wife, however, the wife he was to take was not any ordinary wife. The wife Hosea was instructed to take was a woman of a very specific nature and very specific character—one that would undoubtedly have a sordid past. Pause for a moment and think about the instruction that was given unto Hosea, and how this man perhaps lived his life as any other man would during that time—perhaps how any other single and unmarried man—and yet the LORD would step into his life and would completely alter the trajectory of it. I can’t help but wonder if during the time Hosea was unmarried he desperately searched and longed for a wife. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Hosea found himself looking at other men during his generation who had taken unto themselves a woman to be their wife, and as those men enjoyed happiness, love, affection, romance, intimacy, communion and fellowship with their wives. In all reality, I can see Hosea walking in the midst of his generation—perhaps even desperately—desiring to find a woman whom he could love, a woman he could cherish, a woman he could have as his own to walk with in this life. I can totally see Hosea walking in the midst of his generation desiring, longing and yearning for a woman whom he could call his own, and longing for affection, romance and love. What’s more, is I would love to know what Hosea’s life was like leading up to that moment when the living and eternal God entered into his world and instruct him to do something which he without a doubt wouldn’t think about or consider doing himself.

            I am convinced that in order to truly understand the narrative that is found in the prophetic book of Hosea and that which the living God asked and instructed him to do, it is necessary that we consider certain key passages found in both the Old and New Testament. If you turn and direct your attention to the fifth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs you will find Solomon writing unto his son and giving him instruction concerning the strange and foreign woman who sought to seduce and entice with her smooth tongue and manipulative words. I firmly believe that we cannot truly understand that which is presented before us in the prophetic book of Hosea without understanding the words and instruction which Solomon son of David wrote unto his son that he might instruct him in the paths and way which he ought to go. What’s more, is I am convinced we must also turn and direct our attention to two distinct passages found in the New Testament gospel of John, for it is within this New Testament gospel narrative we not only find the account of Jesus who interacted with a Samaritan woman at the well outside of Sychar in Samaria, but we also find the scribes and the Pharisees bringing into the presence of Jesus a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. There is a clear and present contrast between each of these passages, and yet it is necessary that we call and draw our attention to the words which are found within them, as they help paint a beautiful and powerful portrait of just what the eternal God asked and instructed Hosea the son of Beeri to do. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what it was like when Hosea spoke unto his father Beeri, and perhaps even his mother concerning the woman he had chosen to be his wife. There is a part of me that wonders if Hosea willingly volunteered the information that Gomer was a harlot and a woman of sordid tastes, affections, lusts and passions. I am trying to envision what it was like if and/or when Beeri—and perhaps even his wife—met Gomer for the very first time, and what that interaction must have been like. Putting it in our modern context we can envision either Beeri or Hosea’s mother asking Gomer what she did for a living, or what she was doing with her life, and I can imagine the sheer and utter shock if she actually spoke unto them and declared she was a harlot.

            YOU’RE TAKING A WHAT AS YOUR WIFE? YOU’RE MARRYING HER? YOU’RE MARRYING THAT? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? DO YOU KNOW WHAT TYPE OF WOMAN SHE IS? YOU KNOW SHES GOING TO BREAK YOUR HEART, RIGHT? YOU KNOW SHE’S GOING TO HURT YOU AND SHATTER YOUR WORLD INTO A THOUSAND DIFFERENT PIECES, RIGHT? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING TAKING A WOMAN LIKE THAT AS YOUR WIFE? DON’T YOU KNOW THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER “FAITHFUL” WOMEN IN ISRAEL WHOM YOU COULD TAKE AS YOUR WIFE? WHY HER? WHY CHOOSE HER? WHAT IS IT ABOUT HER THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO TAKE HER AS A WIFE? OH, SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THE LORD APPEARED TO YOU AND INSTRUCTED YOU TO DO THIS? WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME IS THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB SPOKE TO YOU AND TOLD YOU TO TAKE UNTO YOURSELF A HARLOT AS A WIFE? WHAT TYPE OF GOD WOULD ASK SUCH A THING OF YOU? WHAT TYPE OF GOD WOULD ASK YOU TO TAKE A HARLOT AS A WIFE? WHY WOULD GOD WILLINGLY SUBJECT YOU TO SUCH A LIFE? DOESN’T GOD KNOW THAT SHE’S GOING TO BREAK YOUR HEART? DOESN’T THE LORD KNOW THAT SHE’S GOING TO BE UNFAITHFUL TO YOU? HE HAS TO KNOW WHAT TYPE OF WOMAN THIS IS? [IF THIS MAN KNEW WHAT TYPE OF WOMAN THIS WAS SURELY HE WOULD NOT ALLOW HER TO BE AT HIS FEET]

            As I seek to present you with the words which are found in the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs, as well as the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, I also feel it necessary to call and draw your attention to a certain woman—and not only a certain woman, but a certain type of woman—who would enter into religion’s house that she might worship before Jesus the Christ. I am absolutely and completely convinced that it is necessary for us to also consider the narrative of this woman with the alabaster box, for her actions would not only be mentioned across the gospels in the New Testament, but her actions would actually bring her into the place of forgiveness, wholeness and healing as she was in the presence of Jesus, and even as she left the presence of Jesus. With this in mind, I invite you to consider first and foremost the words which Solomon wrote unto his son, followed by the words concerning the Samaritan woman and the woman caught in the act of adultery in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, and finally the narrative of that woman who was a “sinner,” and yet who dared enter into the house of religion without an invitation that she might worship at the feet of Jesus the Christ and Lord:

            “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not night the door of her house: lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou  mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray” (Proverbs 5:1-23).

            “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my laws as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou ary my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young men void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner: and he went the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: and, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; This day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: he hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:1-27).

            With these two passages we encounter Solomon as a wise and loving father seeking to instruct his son(s) and his children concerning the way(s) and path(s) they ought to go, and to warn them concerning the strange woman. In these passages of Scripture we come face to face with Solomon warning his sons and warning his children concerning the dangers, the snares, and the traps of the strange woman which is the death and destruction of many men. What makes the words found in these two passages of Scripture so absolutely challenging and intriguing is when you think about the type of woman the LORD instructed Hosea the son of Beeri to take unto himself as a wife. It wasn’t simply that the LORD instructed Hosea to take unto himself a wife, but rather that the LORD instructed him to take for himself a wife who was unfaithful and who was a harlot. What’s more, is the LORD knew exactly what type of woman He was instructing Hosea to marry, as well as what this woman would do after Hosea had taken her unto himself as a wife. The LORD was not somehow caught off guard when Hosea married this woman, and the LORD knew what type of affect this woman would have on the heart and mind of Hosea. Stop for a moment and think about how many times this particular woman went astray from Hosea—even after he had taken her as his wife, and even after she had borne him three children. Scripture is unclear as to how often and how many times Gomer broke Hosea’s heart, but as we will later see in this prophetic book, she actually would go astray and would be in the arms of another. In the third chapter of this book you will find the LORD taking this command and instruction given unto Hosea even further, for the LORD would instruct Hosea to go and love a woman who had given herself to harlotry, and who had given herself to whoredoms in the midst of the land. At the risk of getting ahead of myself I am going to stop there, as I feel it is absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the narrative of two different women Jesus interact with during His life and ministry upon the earth. There would be other women whom Jesus would interact with, and before I get into the woman with the alabaster box I feel compelled to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the fourth and eighth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry as written by the apostle John:

            “When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jes have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. JESUS SAITH UNTO HER, GO CALL THY HUSBAND, AND COME HITHER. THE WOMAN ANSWERED AND SAID, I HAVE NO HUSBAND. JESUS SAID UNTO HER, THOU HAST WELL SAID, I HAVE NO HUSBAND: FOR THOU HAST HAD FIVE HUSBANDS; AND HE WHOM THOU NOW HAST IS NOT THY HUSBAND: IN THAT SAIDST THOU TRULY. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Mesias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He” (John 4:1-26)

            “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned: But what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground, and they which heard it being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).

            It is the words we find here within these two passages that describe two different women whom Jesus encountered—one in the Temple who was caught in the act of adultery and then accused in the Temple, and the other whom Jesus conversed with at a well in Samaria who had five previous husbands and was with one now who wasn’t her husband. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must recognize and understand the words found within these passages of Scripture, for the words we find here bring us face to face with the awesome reality of two distinct women—both who could have been classified as having a sordid past and history—and yet both who found themselves in the presence of Jesus the Messiah. It would be Jesus who would be at the well in Sychar waiting for the Samaritan woman to meet Him there, yet in the Temple the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery would be brought unto Him. I find it incredibly intriguing to think about and consider the fact that the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was caught in private, and yet accused in public—and not only accused in public, but accused in the Temple, and in the presence of Jesus the Christ. The narratives and stories of these two women must be recognized and paid close attention to when we are reading the words found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Hosea, for the LORD didn’t merely ask Hosea to take unto himself any woman. Hosea was instructed to take unto himself a wife of a sordid and questionable past and practice, for he would be called and instructed to take as a wife a harlot. Essentially that which Jesus the Christ and Lord was asking Hosea to do was to take unto himself a woman who would undoubtedly be unfaithful to him. Despite the fact that he would take her unto himself in love, and despite the fact that she would bear him two sons and a daughter, she would be unfaithful to her commitment and covenant with Hosea. This woman would give herself—perhaps over and over again—to other lovers as she would seek to satisfy her insatiable lusts, desires, and passions. Although this woman was one who was in covenant relationship with Hosea in the sight of God and man, she would be unfaithful unto Hosea in marriage. Time and time again this woman would give herself in open affection and open adultery and fornication with those who weren’t her husband.

            Earlier in this writing I presented a number of different thoughts and statements Hosea’s father and mother might very well have had when they learned their son was taking unto himself a woman who was known as being a harlot. What I can’t help but wonder if this woman had a reputation among those in Israel or Judah where Hosea would prophesy the word of the LORD, and when Hosea was asked who it was he had chosen to be his wife, people gasped in stunned shock and amazement at who he had chosen. I can almost here those in Israel and/or Judah hearing Hosea’s choice of a woman who would be his wife, and yet repeatedly making every effort and attempt to talk him out of giving himself in marriage. Such men and women might very well have repeatedly told Hosea what type of woman this was, and even asked him whether or not he knew the type of woman she was. What makes this narrative so incredibly captivating is when you think about and consider the fact that not only did Hosea know what type of woman this was whom he was taking in marriage, but he was also doing so according to the word of the LORD. I can’t help but wonder if Hosea ever spoke unto Gomer and told her the reason behind his taking her unto himself in marriage. Did Hosea ever speak unto Gomer and declare unto her the mystery behind their union—that the living and eternal God had instructed him to take unto himself a woman who was known as a harlot and who was known for her whoredoms? What’s more, is I can’t help but wonder what that conversation would have sounded like if Hosea actually spoke unto Gomer and revealed unto her the mystery of their union, and how it was the LORD who had ordained their marriage and union before they every gave themselves in commitment and covenant.

            As I sit here thinking about the union of Hosea and Gomer—before I present you with the narrative of the woman who held the alabaster box and brought it into the presence of Jesus—I can’t help but wonder why Gomer would have agreed to enter into covenant with Hosea in marriage. Knowing the type of woman she was, why on earth would she give herself in marriage knowing her insatiable lusts, desires and passions. We know why Hosea would take Gomer unto himself as a wife, however, what we don’t know is why Gomer would agree to such a commitment. What would make a prostitute and harlot who was used to a life of promiscuity give herself in commitment to one single man? I can’t imagine Hosea went up to Gomer and declared unto her “Thus saith the LORD,” and then followed that statement up with a marriage proposal. It is something truly astounding and remarkable to not only think about and consider the fact that the LORD would tell Hosea to take unto himself a promiscuous woman, but also that this promiscuous woman would agree to marry Hosea. What’s more, is that Gomer not only took Hosea as her husband, but also bore children by him. One can’t help but wonder if maybe she had within her heart and soul a genuine and authentic desire to change and amend her ways, and to be a woman of faithfulness. We know from the New Testament gospel narrative of the apostle John that the woman caught in adultery found forgiveness in the Temple of God and in the presence of Jesus. We know that the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus—that same woman who had five husbands and was with a man who currently wasn’t her husband—would become the first female evangelist in the gospels. It would be this Samaritan woman who would go unto all those within the town and declare unto them that she had met a man who had told her everything she ever did. In addition to all of this we also find the narrative of the woman who brought her alabaster box into the house of religion and legalism, broke that box of precious perfume at the feet of Jesus, and anointed her feet with her tears and she wiped them with her hair. It is this narrative of the woman who brought this alabaster box into the presence of Jesus in religion’s house I feel is absolutely necessary to consider in light of the prophetic book of Hosea, for this woman who herself had a sordid past—and not only a sordid past, but also a reputation—would find forgiveness in the presence of Jesus the Christ her Lord. Consider if you will the following words found within the gospel narratives concerning Jesus the Christ:

            “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:6-13).

            “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:3-9).

            “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. NOW WHEN THE PHARISEE WHICH HAD BIDDEN HIM SAW IT, HE SPAKE WITHIN HIMSELF, SAYING, THIS MAN, IF HE WERE A PROPHET, WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHO AND WHAT MANNER OF WOMAN THIS IS THAT TOUCHETH HIM: FOR SHE IS A SINNER. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her heard. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that say at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (John 7:36-50).

            “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (John 12:1-8).

            THIS MAN, IF HE WERE A PROPHET, WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHO AND WHAT MANNER OF WOMAN THIS IS THAT TOUCHETH HIM! SHE IS A SINNER! SHE IS A HARLOT! SHE IS A WHORE! Stop for a moment and think about the sting these statements have concerning those to whom they would be applied. Think about what it would have meant for the woman whom Jesus met at the well in Samaria to have been labeled an adulterous woman, or a promiscuous woman because of how many marriages and failed relationships she had in the past. Think about and consider what it would have been like for the woman who was caught in the act of adultery to not only be accused in the Temple, but also to be called an adulterous, or even a whore. Imagine being caught in the act in secret or private, and being brought into the court of the Temple, and into the presence of Jesus, and being called and labeled a whore. I am sure there were those among the scribes and Pharisees who had some choice words and some choice names for this woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. What’s more, is that for the woman who dared enter into religion’s house without invitation that she might worship at the feet of Jesus she was labeled and described as a sinner. For the woman who entered Simon’s house, it was a sinner who worshipped at the feet of Jesus. At the well in Samaria it was a promiscuous woman who came to draw water out of that well. In the court of the Temple it was an adulteress or a whore who was caught in the act and brought into the presence of Jesus. In the times of Hosea the prophet it was Gomer who would have been labeled as a whore and as a promiscuous woman. Please stop and think about these particular realities, for they have the dramatic and powerful ability to radically shape and alter how you read and consider the words found in the prophetic book of Hosea. It is absolutely astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that the living and eternal God would speak unto Hosea and give him such a command and instruction that to the natural mind wouldn’t even make sense. Unto Abraham the living God would instruct him to leave his country, to leave his father’s house, and to leave everything he knew behind and journey unto a land which the LORD Himself would show him. Unto Noah the command was given to build an ark during a period of time when it hadn’t rained upon the earth in order that the LORD might preserve a remnant in the midst of the earth in the process of bringing judgment and wrath upon it. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this tremendous command and instruction that was given unto Hosea, for it would have been one that not only called him to do something incredibly challenging, but it would have been one that would have called him to do something which those before and around him would not understand.

            GO, TAKE UNTO THEE A WIFE OF WHOREDOMS AND CHILDREN OF WHOREDOMS! Stop and think about that—I mean truly and deeply consider the tremendous reality and truth surrounding those words. What sort of emotions does such a command and instruction illicit within your heart and soul? What sort of thoughts does such an instruction illicit within your mind as you ponder that which the living and eternal God spoke unto Hosea and instructed him to go out and do. In all reality, that which the LORD had spoken unto Hosea the son of Beeri is something you will not find anywhere else in Scripture, for there is no other place in Scripture where you will find the LORD speaking unto one of the children of Israel and instructing them to take unto themselves a wife of whoredoms, and to bear children of whoredoms. We know that Tamar was a woman who adorned herself as a whore and in the attire of a harlot, and how Judah went in unto her and caused her to conceive and bring forth twin boys—one of which would actually be in the genealogy and lineage of Jesus the Christ. We know that Rahab was a harlot and prostitute in Jericho, and yet how because she hid the spies on the roof of her house on the wall of Jericho and ushered them off to safety, the LORD would not only preserve her in the midst of the judgment upon Jericho, and not only would give unto her a Hebrew husband, but so also would the child born of Rahab be found in the lineage and genealogy of Jesus the Christ. We know that the living and eternal God can indeed and can in fact redeem harlots, whores and prostitutes, and even Jesus Christ Himself emphatically declared that publicans and prostitutes enter into the kingdom of heaven before the scribes and the Pharisees. What a powerful picture is presented before us in the four gospel narratives concerning the great forgiveness and redemption of the living and eternal God that through Jesus the woman who was caught in the act of adultery she would not only find freedom from condemnation, but she would also find forgiveness. The woman whom Jesus met at the well in Sychar in Samaria would encounter a man who told her everything she had ever done, and would evangelize her entire town with the message of this Jesus who was the Messiah. The woman who entered into the house of Simon the leper who was also a Pharisee would do so without invitation in order that she might enter religion’s house where she knew Jesus was that she might break her alabaster box at the feet of Jesus, fill the room with the sweet aroma from the perfume inside, and then proceed to anoint the feet of Jesus with her tears as she dried them with the hairs of her head.

            What makes the narrative of the woman caught in the act of adultery, as well as the narrative of Mary who would enter into the presence of Jesus with an alabaster box so absolutely captivating is what would have been said and spoken concerning them. The woman who was caught in the act of adultery might very well have been labeled as a whore or as an adulteress, while we know for a fact that Mary was referred to by Simon as a sinner. Even though Simon merely thought these words within his head, Jesus still proceeded to rebuke him—and then not only rebuke him, but proceed to declare unto him what religion failed (and perhaps refused) to do when Jesus was present in the midst of it, but what this woman did willfully and voluntarily. When we speak about Gomer whom Hosea took as a wife, we must recognize and understand she would have undoubtedly had a reputation in the midst of Israel, for men and women would have known that she was a whore and a woman of whoredoms. This woman whom Hosea had chosen to take unto himself as his wife would have been recognized by countless within the land as a woman who was both promiscuous and adulteress, and I can’t help but wonder if as a result of her harlotries and whoredoms she destroyed countless marriages. Scripture is unclear as to what this woman’s life was like prior to Hosea taking her unto himself as a wife, and Scripture is even unclear what exactly she did when the word of the LORD would speak unto him and tell him to go again and love a woman of whoredoms and harlotries. Was Gomer in the bed of another man when Hosea went and found her and purchased her as his own? When Hosea found Gomer the very first time, did he seek her out on a street corner in Israel, or did he actually go unto a place that was known for housing women of whoredoms and harlotries? We don’t know where Hosea found Gomer, but we know that he found her, and that he chose her as that one whom he would take unto himself as a wife and bride. Oh that we would recognize and realize that which the LORD would ask Hosea, for that which the LORD would ask Hosea to do was to love another the way He loved Israel. Even though Gomer would be a picture of a promiscuous and adulteress Israel, the LORD would instruct Hosea to love this woman—despite her whoredoms, despite her harlotries, and despite her sordid past and promiscuous ways. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for although Hosea was asked to do something which might very well have been incredibly difficult for him, he would be invited to enter into and understand the very character and nature of the living God.

            INVITED TO ENTER INTO AND UNDERSTAND THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST! INVITED TO ENTER INTO AND UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF CHRIST! The more I read and the more I consider the words which are found in the prophetic book of Hosea the more I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the very real and captivating truth that Hosea would have been instructed to do something which in the natural mind might have seemed  completely and utterly absurd, incredibly challenging, and even downright foolish, and yet in the midst of that instruction was an invitation to enter into and partake of the divine nature and character of the God who had spoken unto him. I sit here this morning thinking about and considering that which Hosea was asked to do, and the instruction which the LORD had spoken and given unto Him—despite and regardless of how difficult it might have been, as well how difficult it might have made Hosea’s life—and how the LORD invited him to partake in something that was so much bigger than him. Just as Hosea would be invited to take a woman of whoredoms and harlotries as his wife, so also was the LORD married to a woman of harlotries and whoredoms. Just as Hosea was instructed to love a woman of whoredoms and harlotries, so also did the LORD love a woman of whoredoms and harlotries. The illustration and picture that is found within this passage of Scripture is that of the LORD loving Israel—despite the fact that she was an adulterous, whorish and promiscuous woman in the midst of the land. Just as Hosea was a powerful prophetic picture of the LORD of hosts, so also would Gomer be a powerful prophetic picture of the house of Israel whom the LORD would speak and refer to as a woman of whoredoms and harlotries. It should be noted that there were at least times in Scripture when the LORD referred to His people as a whore and as a people of whoredoms—the first of which is found in the sixteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel concerning Jerusalem, and the second is found in the prophetic book of Hosea concerning the house of Israel. It might even be argued that within the prophetic book of Jeremiah there is also this concept of whoredoms and harlotries in the midst of the land and house of Judah, as Jeremiah would make multiple references to their whorish ways in the midst of the land. The prophetic book of Hosea is perhaps the most comprehensive prophetic book concerning the people of God living and walking in the midst of the earth as a whore and harlot, for throughout the book you will find the word of the LORD speaking unto Hosea concerning the house of Israel, and speaking of their whoredoms and harlotries, as well as the spirit of whoredoms that was found within them.

            As you read the words which are found in this prophetic book of Hosea you will find this man who was called to take a woman of whoredoms as his wife—and not only to take this woman of whoredoms as his wife, but to have children of whoredoms with her, and to love her once again even after she had been unfaithful to him—and how it was this action which be a powerful picture of the house of Israel who would be a people and house of whoredoms and harlotries. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible truth, for what we find here in this passage of Scripture is a truly unique picture concerning the living God who would love an adulterous and whorish people who continually and repeatedly went after other lovers—regardless of whether those lovers were nations and peoples, or whether they were idols, images and false gods. In fact, in the opening verses of the second chapter of this prophetic book you will find the LORD speaking the following words concerning the house of Israel: “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-hamah. Plead with your mother, plead: For she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: Let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts” (Hosea 2:1-2). As you continue reading in this particular chapter you will find the LORD goes on to say and declare: “And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: For she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink” (Hosea 2:4-5). In the fourth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the following words which were spoken by the LORD concerning the house of Israel and the whoredoms and harlotries they committed in the midst of the land: “For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: For the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: Therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: For themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: Therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend” (Hosea 4:4-15).

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must truly recognize and understand the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for Hosea was called and instructed by the LORD to take unto himself a woman of whoredoms and harlotries, as well as to have children of whoredoms with her. What makes this truly astonishing is when you think about and consider the fact that the LORD knew Gomer would be unfaithful, and deep down in the heart and mind of Hosea I think he too knew that she would be unfaithful to him. The LORD never spoke unto Hosea and declared unto him that Gomer would be unfaithful to him during the days of their covenant and marriage—only that Hosea was to take a woman of whoredoms and harlotries as his wife. Oh it’s absolutely necessary that we pay close and careful attention to these words, for the words which we find in the prophetic book of Hosea bring us face to face with the awesome truth that Hosea would take unto himself as a wife a woman who was known for her promiscuous and adulterous ways. Despite the side talk, the gossip, and all the words which might very well have been spoken concerning him because of his choice of a wife, Hosea would take Gomer unto himself as wife, and would conceive children through her. I still can’t help but wonder what it was like for Gomer to think about and consider the fact that there was actually a man who would commit to loving her, and a man who was willing to enter into covenant with her. I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Gomer as she was first approached by Hosea, and when she realized what it was he was asking of her. There are two distinct moments within the life of Hosea and Gomer I am convinced are absolutely and incredibly defining moments—that moment when Hosea approached her that he might take her as his wife, and that moment when Hosea would come unto her again and not only love her still, but also pay the price that would be needed to secure her freedom to bring her unto himself. It’s one thing to take a woman of whoredoms as a wife, however, it’s something else entirely to take this woman of whoredoms as wife, and then love her again—even after she had been unfaithful unto you, and broke the covenant and vow of marriage. What a truly wonderful and powerful picture of the love of the living and eternal God this truly is when you think about and consider it, for it shines a tremendous light on to the great love of the LORD for the house of Israel—despite her whoredoms and harlotries which she committed against Him.

As I bring this writing to a close, I feel it absolutely necessary one more time to call and draw your attention to the fact that Hosea was instructed by the LORD to take a woman of whoredoms and harlotries as a wife, and that in the midst of that instruction he was given an invitation to participate and partake in the character and nature of the LORD. What’s more, is that not only was Hosea invited to partake of this nature and character of the living God by taking this woman of whoredoms as his wife, but in going unto her once more and choosing to love her—despite her unfaithfulness, and despite her whoredoms and adulteries—he would once more participate in the divine character and nature of the one true and living God. It would be the living and eternal God who would through the life of Hosea preach and declare a powerful message unto the house of Israel concerning her own whoredoms, her own harlotries, and her own adulterous and promiscuous ways. Oh please don’t miss the awesome reality which surrounds the prophetic book of Hosea, for it is a truly captivating and beautiful reality concerning the nature and character of the living God to love—and not only love, but continue to love—an unfaithful, adulterous and whorish woman. The living God would continue to love this adulterous and unfaithful woman, and would even bring her into the wilderness that he might speak comfortably to her and once more betroth her unto himself. It is through the life of Hosea we see a powerful picture of the divine nature and character of the living and eternal God, as the LORD of hosts would choose to continue to love Israel—despite her adulterous, whorish and promiscuous ways. What’s more, is that we will see within the prophetic book of Ezekiel that even after He had cast her out of His presence and out of the land which He had given unto her, He would once more bring her back into the land, and would redeem her in the midst of it. Oh that we would truly and deeply recognize and understand the divine nature and character of Jesus the Christ for and towards His people—despite their whorish, adulterous and promiscuous ways—and His willingness to love, to redeem, to restore, to forgive, and to grant mercy and grace in the mist of their unfaithful ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s