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Redeeming Love By Francine Rivers - A Review

Updated on June 21, 2011

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.

The Harlot, Gomer by Chris Higham
The Harlot, Gomer by Chris Higham

The Story

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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    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hosea really was a patient and obedient man, you are right. Boaz was another man to be admired and maybe they can be compared to each other. After all, both of them married women who were not ideal. Ruth was a Moabitess and Gomer a prostitute.Outsiders really. Although I don't think a woman tried anybody like Gomer tried Hosea. His example was truly to portray the Lord's love for His bride the church and to me that makes this book unforgettable. It is like a love letter from God.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I loved this book and immediately reread it. Some women at church are always going on about finding their "Boaz man" but I think Hosea's loyalty and heart is to be sought.

      Your review of the book is very good and Ms. Rivers did an amazing job with a terribly painful subject. Regards, HB.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Wasn't it great, Ebower? Truly a beautiful book indeed!

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      I love this book! It's a beautiful story of God's love and redemption.

    • TheWhisper profile image

      TheWhisper 6 years ago from Macomb,MI

      Thank you for this reference. This book gives an whole new light to what was before so broad. I witnessed history written beautifully on paper.

      Follow Me?

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Parrster!

      This was actually the first Francine Rivers novel I have ever read. I decided to purchase it because I was intrigued with her tie in with the Book of Hosea. Now I am intrigued by the other books she has out and I am certain that I will soon be reading another. The Scarlet Thread just may be it, who knows?

      Thank you for your kind words about my review - I simply enjoyed the book immensely.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this. Rivers is a truly gifted writer. As with her other books, she draws readers to contemplate important and eternal questions that get to the heart of the biblical message. I haven't read the scarlet thread as yet, but your review has whet my appetite.