GOMER (2) [ISBE] GOMER (2) - go'-mer (gomer; Gamer): Wife of Hosea. Hosea married Gomer according to Divine appointment, and this was the beginning of God's word to him (Hos 1:3; 3:1-4). She was to be a wife of whoredom and they were to have children of whoredom. This need not mean that at the time of marriage she was thus depraved, but she had the evil taint in her blood, had inherited immoral instincts. These soon manifested themselves, and the unfaithful, depraved wife of the prophet went deeper into sin. She seems to have left him and become the slave of her paramour (Hos 3:1). Hosea is now commanded by Yahweh to buy her back, paying the price of the ordinary slave. The prophet keeps her in confinement and without a husband for some time. This experience of the prophet was typical of Israel's unfaithfulness, of Israel's exile, and of God bringing her back after the punishment of the exile. See HOSEA. J. J. Reeve.
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The story of Hosea and Gomer is several stories wrapped into one. Just as Paul, in the New Testament, compares God's love for us and our relationship with Him to a marriage, the same is true of this story. Hosea's story is that of the nation of Israel. Despite the great love Hosea had for Gomer, she left him and through a great act of love by Hosea, she came back to him, strictly from the work of Hosea, in buying her back as a slave. This is a very clear picture of the way Israel left their God over and over even after the wonderful things He had done. He won them back and they left over and over again. In the end, God bought us back through an unbelievable act of love with Christ on the cross. He redeemed us as if redeeming a book of coupons. He traded something of no particular value to the Jews (Jesus) for something that He valued very much, us. That includes you and that shows you how much God values you. The story of Hosea is one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. Sure, it uses Hosea and Gomer as the actors in the play, but the real actors are God and you and me. His love for us is so great that he would trade the earthly life of His Son on the cross for you and for me. This is one story we should study carefully and try to understand the love God has for us. Incredible.
I would say that the life of Gomer is meant to serve for Christians as a negative example of marital unfaithfulness, and thus (in a spiritual sense) as an example of the seriousness in God's eyes of the idolatry and ungodliness (including sexual sin) by which the people of Israel were being unfaithful to Him, and, in a broader sense, all forms of idolatry (involving not only actual physical idols, but any object or activity to which people assign a higher priority than God) down to modern times. Hosea's dealings with Gomer also provide a contrasting example, illustrating God's faithfulness (despite the sins committed against Him), both in maintaining his relationship with Israel, and ultimately, in sending Jesus to make possible the redemption of all humanity.
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