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Gomer - Hosea's Wife - A Difficult Lesson in Unfaithfulness (Part3) Flirting With Disaster - A Personal Testimony
Hosea the Prophet - A Living Parable Of God's Faithful Love to the Unfaithful
Part One dealt primarily with an introduction of what and where this message was born from in terms of my personal experience, as well as encourages us to receive the sometimes hard lessons that the continuation of this series may present. It also presented the recommendation to take a risk and expose ourselves to God...ugly and all, without excuse, that He might heal us, with the understanding that forgiveness in Christ makes it a safe place to do so. The main thrust of Part One is that if we won't humble ourselves God cannot lift us up nor move us forward
Part Two began the story of Hosea and Gomer and the troublesome issue of her unfaithfulness as it imaged also Israel and her unfaithfulness to God. We ended on a bit of a harsh note as God confronts Israel/Gomer as well as expresses His hurt and plea for her to understand how damaging this has been to their relationship.
Part Three will examine God's indescribable passion and love that pursues us at our very worst. And once again my personal experiences will be laced throughout the study in hopes of giving a practical application to this message.
We left off with Gomer looking to her lovers rather than her husband for her needs that was imaging for us how Israel as a nation was doing this very same thing in her relationship with God. This applies as well to us individually in terms of who and what we might look to apart from God to meet our needs. As was in my case, it was very literal interpretation.
We also left off in Part Two with the tension of knowing that God had had enough and He was done with things as they were
Discomfort is God Calling Us to Himself
The story continues in Hosea chapter 2:6 where God begins to orchestrate things in the lives of Gomer/His people that will give them the opportunity to consider their ways.
I will fence her in with briars and thornbushes; I’ll block the road before her to make her lose her way, so that when she runs after her lovers, she will not catch up with them. She will search for them but not find them ~ Hosea 2:6-7
I recall when God began to work in my life in this way. He brought me to realize the futility of the desert places in which I had chosen to venture. His invitation, most certainly, came in the form of reasoning, as you will see in my story.
No relationship was working for me, and life felt pretty prickly no matter where I went, or what I tried to do. My friends and family had grown weary of my self created dramas, and self pitying, so much, in fact, that I remember calling my mother and lamenting about some tragic disappointment at the bar the night before, and she yelled at me. She was done listening to it, and told me squarely, and matter of fact, that If the bar was where I chose to hang out then that was what I could expect.
I was initially angry but her words stuck in heart and I began to think about what she said as well as consider the truth of it.
I also recall a co-worker laughing at my disappointment that I had combed all the hot spots in town and couldn't find a decent relationship. His laugh was one of disbelief, that I was so disillusioned as to think I would find a real relationship in the places I was looking, and maybe even thought it odd that, in my state, I was capable of having a real relationship. Both were true at the time.
All had disappointed me and I began to awaken to the idea that I was on the wrong road, and began to consider that the problem might not be my relationships, but it might have something to do with me.
O Israel, return to the Lord your God,For you have stumbled because of your iniquity ~ Hosea 14:1
The Reasoning Begins
Just prior to leaving the evil relationship I had initially involved myself with and left my husband for, I considered doing something with my life, and I took a college humanities course to test the waters of potentially furthering my education. I did not recognize it clearly at the time, but this was sincerely a divine appointment orchestrated by God Himself. The confrontation would now begin.
The entire semester centered around reading the classic novel "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert, which is essentially about an idealistic bored and dissatisfied housewife, who becomes so disappointed with the reality of her life, that never met up to her fantasies and expectations, that she turns to adulterous relationships, which eventually also disappoint her.
The one and only assignment we were given in the class was to write an essay on the read, which included elements that the teacher required. One of the major themes he wanted included in the essay was this, if Emma Bovary were a real person living today how do you think she should have done things differently? and what would you counsel her to do now?
I look back now and gasp! Did the teacher know? Although I got a "B" on the essay in total, it was noted that the teacher wasn't completely satisfied with my answer. Little did he know that God was asking me some very pointed questions through him, that I was not sure how to answer at the time, but was foreshadowing a marvelous work He was about to begin in me.
A Night at the Bar
The lessons continue, and an event in particular is etched in my memory, in reference to how the Lord began to hedge up my path. I recall that it was a Saturday night and I headed to the bar as was my custom every other weekend.
...She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the Lord ~ Hosea 213
I went by myself and bought myself a drink then went to stand on a raised level that overlooked pretty much the whole place.
you built your shrine at the head of every street and made your high place in every square... ~ Ezekiel 16:31
I heard a voice in my heart (not audible) ask "How long have you been coming here?" I replied silently inside "I suppose about 5 years" Then another question arose. "Have you found what you've been looking for yet?" I answered "No" and wondered where all this was coming from. The voice asked again "Do you think you will find what you are looking for tonight?" And instead of answering I surveyed the room just in case I had missed something. What I saw instead, was, on the one end there were two girls fighting on the dance floor. On the other end of the bar, two men were punching each other. Lastly, I saw an extremely inebriated man wearing my coat and dancing by himself, at which point I had to convince a bouncer that the coat was mine in order to get it back. I returned to where I had been standing and I heard one final question, "Do you think you will ever find what your looking for here?" As, I looked around the room one last time to observe all the chaos and confusion and darkness there. I replied "No" and I left.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. ~ Isaiah 1:18
It was then that I knew that it was God who was calling me out. I went home and God began a process of delivering me and drawing me to himself. My life became strangely quiet. My friends had moved on, my search for Mr. Perfect was over and I was alone.
behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness,And speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope ~ Hosea 2:14
It was the beginning of God revealing to me that He wanted to be my everything. He wanted to be the man I was looking for.
“And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband ~ Hosea 2:14
For your Maker is your husband ~ Isaiah 54:5
It was within these revelations that I began to understand my true crimes that similarly to Eve my actions, where God was concerned, were reflective of my faithless heart that refused to believe that He was sufficient or enough.
several years prior I had stuffed my Bible under the couch because I did not like what it said,
they did not listen, nor incline their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward ~ Jeremiah 7:24
Now I was parched and famished for what God would say even if it hurt and I could not put it down.
the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart ~ Hebrews 4:12
God says a lot of harsh things to Israel/Gomer concerning her behavior Don't ever be afraid to let the Word of God pierce you. He means it for good!
Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up. ~ Hosea 6:1
Deliverance From the Spirit of Harlotry
When I finally had made the decision to no longer seek my attentions and or whatever else I was looking for in my former ways and set my face to seek the Lord, I discovered it was a delivering process that involved actual withdrawal symptoms. When Saturday night rolled around I would sit on my couch feeling weak and shaky and not sure what to do with myself.
“You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.” ~ Hosea 3:3
Adultery comes in many forms when it comes to a relationship with the Lord. I not only looked to relationships for covering, help and hope but consulted such things as astrology and took up with New Age counseling (more on this in Part Four). Whatever your brand of intoxication or provision is, whether it be relationship, alcohol, drugs, food, or entertainment, freedom may very well involve some type of uncomfortable withdrawal. because harlotry/whoredom/adultery is a spirit.
the spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the whore in defiance of their God ~ Hosea 4:12
Once again avoid the temptation to see any form of victimization in this verse in the context of being led astray because chapter 5 explains exactly how this happens.
They do not direct their deeds
Toward turning to their God ~ Hosea 5:4
Total Life Ministries explains this spirit well...
The enemy promises pleasure, comfort, escape, and excitement. But what he actually gives is a life of bondage to lust, pornography, immorality, and adultery; a bondage that ruins relationship with God and people. For all that the spirit of harlotry can really deliver is death.
"Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life..." (Proverbs 5:5-6; also see 7:26-27 NASV).
I Was Flirting With What?
Essentially to worship anything or anyone other than God and commit spiritual adultery is to worship demons as God reveals in calling His children back to Himself. The Song of Moses foretells of this situation very well.
“But Jeshurun (Poetic name for Israel) grew fat and kicked;
You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you. ~ Deuteronomy 32:15-18
They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. ~ Leviticus 17:7
God makes it abundantly clear what is functioning behind the scenes of adultery/idolatry. And What we do in the natural gives image to what goes on in the spirit with us when we turn to all things not god.
I recall a final incident of flirtation where the Lord showed me what I was really flirting with. It was just a flash and a glimpse but when I looked at this person I saw a demon behind their head. I don't think the Lord was trying to show me that the person had a demon but He certainly wanted me to see what I was really toying with" from a spiritual perspective. I was horrified and appalled as I should have been before I saw it.
We might think that we can have our cake and eat it too but God makes abundantly clear His expectation of our loyalty and love which He so rightfully deserves. Is God being possessive? In the healthiest sense of this idea, absolutely, yes! He will not share us with another nor should He be expected to.
you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God ~ Exodus 34:14
Paul exhorts the Corinthians concerning this reality.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?... ~ I Corinthians 10:21
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap ~ Galatians 6:7
If you read the Bible from cover to cover a glaring theme keeps leaping from it's pages in so many forms that they cannot be counted and that theme is loyalty. It is all God ever asked for from us. The one thing He desired was our unadulterated loyalty. He promised us everything we could ever want or dream of in that garden (every tree but one) faithfulness was all He asked in return and it is what He asks of us still
This is God's sincere complaint in Hosea chapter 4:1,6,8
...The people are not true, not loyal to God...They reject knowledge...and set their heart on iniquity... (Expanded Bible)
It amazes me how God pursues is when we are so unlovely. The Psalmist declares in Psalm 23
Surely goodness and loyal love will pursue me all the days of my life ~Psalm 23:6
God's faithfulness is amazing and after all of this God's hand is stretched out still
"O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself but in me is thine help" ~ Hosea 13:9
We will finish up this series in Part four with the continuing redemptive process in the life of Israel/Gomer/me.
© 2015 Tamarajo