“For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.” – Hosea 2:5
Gomer, Hosea’s wife, chased after other lovers and broke their commitment to each other. God used their marriage as an example for the nation, demonstrating that both Judah and Israel had turned away from God and turned to foreign nations and gods for strength and comfort. The physical immorality of Gomer depicts the spiritual idolatry of Israel. And, it speaks to us today.
Anything that takes the place of God is your god. Whatever occupies your mind the most is what you will serve, and if it is not the Lord, that is spiritual idolatry. Gomer was an example of this kind of idolatry. She literally wanted to be let go because she had a strong desire to pursue other lovers and would not be deterred from doing so. She was attributing her prosperity to the gods and idols of the world, just like the nation of Israel was doing. I personally believe that this spiritual idolatry broke God’s heart and still does.
The Bible teaches that everything we have, whether you believe it or not, is allowed and given by the Lord (1 Cor. 4:7). In this setting, to show Israel He was in control and not the Canaanite god Baal, God withheld rain and productivity for a time. This would leave them desolate and wanting. I would imagine, from a spiritual standpoint, that Gomer felt this way. Chasing after things that left her completely empty and used, with no hope. Things that provided pleasure for a moment but much more emptiness when that moment was over. She was in a downward spiral of soul and spirit.
Jesus asked a critical question of the people when He is telling them to follow Him. He was asking them if they were willing to give up eternity in heaven for pursuing things of this world (Mark 8:36). Hosea’s wife found herself in this setting. She thought she could find love in others but never sought the love she already had at home. Have you been running from home? Are you running from Jesus? Jesus loves you and is waiting at home for you and will never leave you empty and wanting.
“We have in the Book of Hosea one of the most arresting revelations of the real nature of sin, and one of the clearest interpretations of the strength of the Divine love. No one can read the story of Hosea without realizing the agony of his heart. Then, lift the human to the level of the Infinite, and know this, that sin wounds the heart of God.” – G. Campbell Morgan