So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek (about 195 kilograms) of barley. Hosea 3:2
Hosea’s life is an object lesson in how far God will go to prove his love for his people. God tells Hosea to take the initiative and go to Gomer, his adulterous wife, even while she is being loved by another man. He also commands Hosea to “love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (verse 1). This must have been humiliating for Hosea. Gomer’s unfaithfulness would’ve been obvious to all and she isn’t seeking forgiveness. Yet Hosea purchases and redeems her.
Thirty shekels was the normal price of a slave. Whether Gomer had ended up as a slave and Hosea only had fifteen shekels and some barley for the exchange is unclear. What is clear is Hosea had already married Gomer and paid a bride price and now he has to pay again. Gomer is twice Hosea’s. Likewise, we’re twice God’s. Once because he made us and twice because he paid to redeem us.
God takes the initiative with us even when we’re more interested in the things that will destroy our relationship with God rather than build it. Yet God through Jesus shows his love by bearing the humiliation of the cross and willingly sacrificing all he has to purchase our redemption.
The radical love Hosea shows towards Gomer is meant to shock us in to realising how much God loves us. Certainly, we would be shocked if we saw the story of Hosea and Gomer being lived out in our midst. The Israelites saw it but they didn’t consider the object lesson God was giving them.
Today let’s consider Hosea’s relationship with Gomer and be overwhelmed since that is how God loves us.