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Hosea and Gomer Example
We can be persistent in prayer for our own needs and the needs of our family. But are we able to be persistent in prayer for those hard cases we encounter in our family that frustrate us on a regular basis? And does God want us to persist? Do we persistently also ask ourselves and God if we’re on the right track when we pray? Have we decided we’re the only ones, or no one is, or I just can’t see that someone else might be able to help?
Let’s review a little of the struggle that Hosea coped with as God directed him to marry, and then persist in maintaining his marriage to Gomer, who was not helping.
Hosea “bought” Gomer who herself was the child of a harlot.
Hosea was the father of their 1st child.
Other men were the father of Gomer’s 2nd and 3rd children
Gomer left home and entered the trade of a harlot
Hosea “bought” her a 2nd time
Gomer and Consequences
Gomer’s story is meant to show Hosea, the northern kingdom of Israel, and us today about God’s constant yearning for us and His attempts to reach us even with our fallen nature and our following after our gods of our own making. We should also remember that the priceless gift of Jesus blood was paid by God and not by us to bring us back out of our own version of harlotry.
Having received such a great gift and being empowered by the Holy Spirit, ought we also then to not give up on our family members who are still in sin? And more importantly, per the intention of this article, are we willing to receive that we’re not necessarily helping if we guard our wayward family members from the consequences of their own actions? When we do this are we really thinking of them or ourselves?
I heard a person on Christian radio say that they pray sometimes for people to hit rock bottom. Not praying that they escape the consequences of their sin. For example – do we bail them out of jail when we know they’re guilty and not repentant? Do we help them to hide illegal activity? Do we give them money or housing when they’ve had more than enough to have taken care of themselves? If we protect them from making the hard choices in life – have we helped or hindered them?
The following WEB site clearly illustrates what I’m saying. You will note that there’s a lot about personal responsibility rather than concern for someone else. I will cover the “someone else” in the paragraph after the link for the WEB site.
One way we enable the sin of others is by rescuing them from their rightful consequences. God uses consequences to teach us lessons we would not otherwise learn. When a parent bails a rebellious son out of jail, that parent is enabling the rebellion to continue. When a Christian allows his friends to talk him into going to a place he knows will lead to sinful behavior, he is participating in the sin of others. We give others freedom to make their own choices, but we must also allow them to reap the consequences of those choices (Galatians 6:7). We often enable the sin of others because of a false sense of compassion or because we want to be needed. But in shielding someone from the natural consequences of sin, we rob that person of the wisdom God wanted to impart to him or her. It’s never easy to see a loved one experience difficulty, but sometimes the difficulty is just what God wants to use to teach an important life lesson.
My concern is for the people we love. If we really really love them and wish the best for them from God’s perspective then we’ll avoid enabling them. It gets really really hard when grandchildren are involved. But how does enabling help? What example are their parents setting? Unless the grandparents become parents again the only chance for things to get better is if the parents suffer the consequences that wake them up.
The worst scenario I observe is the current opioid/heroin epidemic in our country. Worse yet is that it’s now labeled as a disease. Talk about avoiding consequences. NA or Narcotics Anonymous uses the same method as AA. And Al Anon teaches that the individual is accountable for getting themselves off of the dependency irrespective of how they started.
To me the Holy Spirit is the key to prayer, persistence, peace, and direction. And it comes through a willingness to communicate and listen in prayer. And maybe even accepting someone else’s help. So when we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, let’s continue to remind ourselves of the persistence of God in reaching someone and be encouraged not to give up on someone that we love, in spite of themselves. JW
Please – this is all just “food for thought”. We all have our opinions. I’m just airing out a look at these issues from a different angle.