The Lord had Hosea marry a prostitute named Gomer. He took her as his wife, but Gomer kept wandering into the arms of other lovers. She was unfaithful.
God Knows ALL, so why on Earth would God direct a prophet to marry a prostitute; why???
Are you a Gomer? The story of Hosea and Gomer has to be one of the greatest pictures of God’s love and faithfulness found throughout the Bible. Hosea was an Old Testament prophet that God used in a very unique way. Not only did Hosea speak the words of God, but God turned his very life and marriage into a living parable for the people of God to see and witness.
The Lord had Hosea marry a prostitute named Gomer. He took her as his wife, but Gomer kept wandering into the arms of other lovers. She was unfaithful. And yet the Lord told Hosea to keep going after her again and again, and bring her back home.
Hosea was a picture of God, and Gomer represented God’s people. God’s people were called to live in a covenant relationship with The Lord. He was their God and they were to have no other gods in their life. They consistently rebelled against God though and chased after other idols. Their history was full of unfaithfulness.
God gave Hosea an unusual command: “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord” (Hosea 1:2). Hosea obeyed by marrying Gomer, and the couple had two sons and a daughter (verses 3–8). Some commentators believe that Gomer was a prostitute or that she had been guilty of repeated sexual sin before she married Hosea. Others believe that God’s description of Gomer as “promiscuous” is prophetic—that is, God’s command anticipated her infidelity, and only later did she become an adulteress.
We do know that, after bearing three children, Gomer left Hosea to live with another man (or, if she was originally a prostitute, to return to her former lifestyle). God then gave Hosea another, even more amazing, command: “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” (Hosea 3:1). Hosea obeyed, buying his wife back with fifteen shekels of silver and some barley (verse 2). This loyal love, undeterred by Gomer’s unfaithfulness, God meant as a picture of His own love for His wayward, idolatrous people.
Hosea prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezkiah in Judah and the last six kings in Israel. Isaiah was a contemporary prophet, and he used some very strong language to describe Judah’s unfaithfulness. Through Isaiah, God calls Jerusalem “a whore” (Isaiah 1:21, ESV) because of her spiritual unfaithfulness. The people were interested only in pleasure (Isaiah 5:11–12) and had forgotten things like justice and righteousness in favor of violence and chaos (Isaiah 5:7). Through Isaiah, God speaks passionately about His love for Judah, calling them a vineyard that should have yielded a beautiful crop but instead yielded only “wild grapes” (Isaiah 5:1–2), nothing of value.
God says through Hosea that Israel had left Him to cherish “prostitution, wine and new wine” (Hosea 4:11), and He makes it clear that both the men and the women were committing adultery with cultic prostitutes in worship of false gods (verse 12). Gomer was a fitting symbol of Israel because of the sexual nature of the idolatry that the people were practicing. Their spiritual adultery was resulting in actual, physical adultery. Such ritual prostitution was a common method of worshiping Baal.
Hosea says that God will remove the names of the Baals from Israel’s mouth and betroth her to Him forever, in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and mercy (Hosea 2:17, 19). God will heal them by His own power (Hosea 14:4–7). These passages foreshadow the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwelling in us is who keeps us from following Israel’s bad example and straying from the Lord.
The metaphors of prostitution and adultery are used repeatedly throughout Scripture to describe unfaithfulness to the Lord. Many of the prophets used sexual immorality as a picture of spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord to whom the people belonged (Ezekiel 16:32; 23:27; Jeremiah 13:27). In the New Testament, similar language is employed in James 4:4 and Gomer’s infidelity was a symbol of Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness, but Hosea’s marriage to and redemption of Gomer is an enduring symbol of God’s faithfulness and provisional redemption of His unfaithful people, then and now, through Jesus Christ. God’s words to ancient Israel should fill us with hope today: “I will betroth you to me forever; / I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, / in love and compassion. / I will betroth you in faithfulness, / and you will acknowledge the Lord” (Hosea 2:19–20).
I have been drawn to study this book on more than one occasion; I can no longer be silent on it. People, we have idols in our lives: jobs, responsibilities, what we ‘feel’ driven to seek. Are we Led? Just what does this mean?
In order to allow The Holy Spirit to lead you, you have to follow His guidance. In addition to yielding to His conviction, you can also become aware of The Holy Spirit’s leading through reading the Bible.
From the time a person places faith in Christ, they are given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit permanently indwells believers, and He will never leave us. Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “the Helper” (John 14:26, ESV).
He is referred to as “the Helper” because He helps us in our struggles. When we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes with moans and groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26).
There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed with sorrow, pain, and grief. In these times, we may not know how to process our feelings — much less express them in words to our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit can intervene on our behalf and communicate our feelings to the Father.
In addition to intervening on our behalf and guiding us, the Holy Spirit can also lead us if we allow Him. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity, which means He is God. Many people do not know that the Holy Spirit is God, but He is God.
He is even often overlooked and downplayed among Christian circles who know He is God. The Holy Spirit deserves the proper recognition and worship because He is God, and He is completely worthy of our praise.
Being led by the Spirit is a popular topic among Christians, yet not many people are aware of what this means. When Paul is telling us to be “led” by the Spirit, he is referring to the fact that we should be open and receptive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
The Holy Spirit wants us to do the right things and to avoid sin. He can convict our hearts and minds when we commit a sin. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we can repent and turn back to God.
If a person consistently refuses to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, they can become cold and callous to the Spirit’s guidance. When a person consistently refuses the Spirit’s guidance, they will not be able to be led by the Spirit.
Instead, they will be led by the sinful flesh. As believers, we need to follow after God and obey the Holy Spirit’s convictions and guidance. When we listen to the Spirit’s convictions and guidance, we can truly be led by the Spirit.
Being willing and open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance is the only true way of how a person can be led by the Spirit.
The Sinful Flesh
Due to our fallen nature, we all have sinful flesh (Romans 3:23). This means we are all born into sin and we all freely sin. The sinful nature stays with us until we die. Many Christians believe a person’s sinful flesh is destroyed once they place faith in Christ; however, this is not true.
When a person places faith in Christ, they are forgiven of their sins, yet their sin nature is not completely eradicated. Our sinful nature will not be eradicated until we are with Christ in heaven.
Since we will continue to struggle with our sinful flesh throughout our earthly lives, we are constantly being tempted by our sinful nature. Our sinful flesh wants us to follow it rather than to follow the Holy Spirit.
When we choose to follow the Holy Spirit, then we are not walking in accordance with the flesh (Galatians 5:16-18). Our sinful flesh and the Holy Spirit are both constantly in conflict inside of us.
This can be troubling for us because oftentimes the easiest thing to do is to follow our sinful flesh rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Obeying the Holy Spirit and following Him is always the right thing to do.
Allowing yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit will help you grow in your relationship in Christ as well as it will help you grow in your Christian maturity. If we choose to follow the sinful flesh, we will hurt God, others, and ourselves.
Following the lead of the Holy Spirit can be hard, but it is completely worth it. It is important to note that if we are not being led by the Holy Spirit, then we are being led by our own sinful nature.
As Christians, we have to take the active decision to choose to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit rather than our sinful flesh.
Following the Holy Spirit’s Guidance
In order to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, you have to follow His guidance. In addition to yielding to His conviction, you can also become aware of the Holy Spirit’s leading through reading the Bible.
There is much information about the Holy Spirit in the Bible and the more we learn about Him, the better we will be at discerning His leading and guidance. A few aspects of the Holy Spirit’s leading are the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” These fruits of the Spirit are what God wants to cultivate in our lives.
When we are being led by the Spirit, we will produce these fruits in our lives, including love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The opposite of the fruits of the Spirit are the deeds of the flesh as Paul tells us, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).
We can distinguish who is leading our life based on our actions, thought patterns, and behaviors. If we are cultivating and producing the fruits of the Spirit in our life, then we are truly being led by the Holy Spirit and we are walking in accordance with His will.
On the other hand, if we see the deeds of the sinful flesh being cultivated and produced in our lives, then we are following the lead of our sinful flesh and are walking in accordance with our sin nature.
What Does This Mean?
If you find today that you are being led by your sinful flesh rather than the Holy Spirit, you can change direction today. Ask God to help you be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and ask Him to help you cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in your life.
The Lord answers every prayer in accordance with His will and these types of prayers are in accordance with His will. After praying, you can start reading the Bible intentionally and searching out the verses/passages/chapters of the Bible to obtain the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
The Bible is the only way God speaks to us in the modern-day. He does not speak to us from thunderclouds nor through prophets.
Rather, He has completely revealed Himself in His Word and we can yield to the Holy Spirit’s guidance by reading, reflecting, and applying the Bible in our lives.
Being led by the Spirit means to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance as revealed to us in the Bible. Throughout our lives, we will constantly be challenged to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit or the leading of our sinful nature.
The challenge will be hard, but with the help of God, we can follow the Holy Spirit’s lead throughout our lives and bring glory to the Creator of our hearts.
“‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” Matthew 3:11.
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13.
“And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32.
The result of walking in the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.
“… to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.