Redeeming Love By Francine Rivers - A Review
If you are familiar with the Bible then the Book of Hosea should be one of those that you are acquainted with. Redeeming Love, a novel by Francine Rivers, is based on Hosea and the thing which the Lord asked him to do.
Hosea, who was a prophet of the Lord's in the Old Testament, was required to take a wife, but not any ordinary wife. God commanded His prophet to marry a harlot so that his marriage could become a reflection of God's relationship with Israel. Hosea, a God-fearing man, agreed and married Gomer who was what one could and would call, a scarlet woman.
"The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. 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.
So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son." Hosea 1:2-3 K.J.V.
Indeed, Gomer bore more than one child. Her first born son was named Jezreel, meaning God will seed, her second born, a daughter was named Loruhamah, meaning not loved or pitied and the third, a son, was named Loammi, meaning not my people.
Redeeming Love tells the story of Sarah, a girl forced into a life she never wanted. One who has become cold and does not believe in hope. The beginning of the story is primarily about how she became what she was. When her mother is rejected by her father and can no longer support herself, she turns to the life on the streets. Sarah's mother hates it but it is the only way she can take care of her only child. At eight, she already showed signs of becoming a great beauty. When her mother becomes ill, Sarah is sold into slavery by a man she barely knows. Thus her life and reputation are ripped out of her hands cruelly.
At eighteen she no longer has hope and has run away from so many of her jailers only to fall into the hands of others. Then, in California, a man sees her and he knows that she is the one for him to marry. His name is Michael Hosea and he is a man who fears God. Being obedient, he sets about the task of freeing Sarah. But she is unwilling and like Gomer,she runs away from the one who truly loves her. Even though she knows that Michael's love kindled hope within her, she is afraid that it will kindle hurt as well. She refuses to believe in the love he has for her and furthermore denies the deeper love which the Lord has for her. But Michael has redeemed her whether she likes it or not and he has done so according to the Lord's will for her life, hence the name, Redeeming Love. Perhaps the title was so coined to remind one of a title that is the Lord's - Kinsman Redeemer.
I would not call it a heavy book, but it is one which, after reading it, you sit and think what if. At least I did. At the beginning, the author advises that should her book be a movie, she would rate it PG-13. This was an effort to give readers an idea of the content in the book. In order to show a picture of the Book of Hosea, she had to paint a scene and there were aspects which, as it is in life, were ugly and painful.Thinking about it, I would recommend this book to many - pregnant teens, unwed mothers, negligent fathers, even young boys who wish to become men. There is a lesson for us all in this book, in my opinion.
After reading the book, I thought about the Book of Hosea. I like it when a book is written so that it leads you back to the Bible and this one did. After finishing it, I promptly went to Hosea and re-read what I had absorbed so many times before - the true story of a God who loved so much that He was and is willing to have mercy on those who do not deserve it.
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