Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 64: A Ho And A Lyric

Hosea 2:14-16

By Dariamanu 16 CC-BY-SA-3.0
New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel

14 “But then I will win her back once again.
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
    and transform the Valley of Trouble[a] into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
    as she did long ago when she was young,
    when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
16 When that day comes,” says theLord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’
    instead of ‘my master.’

Hosea 3

New Living Translation (NLT)

Hosea’s Wife Is Redeemed

Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.”So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.”This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.


I spent yesterday reading the book of Hosea, the prophet whom God instructed to marry a whore. God's intention was to illustrate Israel's unfaithfulness to God through the domestic discord between Hosea and Gomer. It wasn't until I started digging a little deeper that I discovered how much controversy surrounds the couple. It seems that a lot of scholars and theologians just don't want to believe that Gomer was promiscuous, and more importantly, that God would never ask one of His people to marry such a woman. So many theories have been presented to explain away Hosea's misfortune that I couldn't possibly describe them in detail. Suffice it to say that maybe she was a hooker, maybe she was a temple prostitute, maybe she was just an unfaithful wife. Or on the hand, maybe Gomer was actually the ideal wife, but because of some mistranslation from Hebrew to English, she got mixed up with another wife who wasn't so good. Still others believe that Gomer wasn't physically promiscuous, but she refused to serve Hosea's God. And finally, there are those who believe that the entire story of Hosea's marriage was fictional, and Gomer never existed at all.

It really doesn't matter whether she existed or not. Scripture describes Israel so graphically as a whore that it's sometimes shocking, and almost embarrassing to read, even silently. The story of Gomer's infidelity isn't nearly as descriptive. And whether it was literal or figurative, sexual promiscuity was obviously as easy for one to relate to in ancient times as it is today.

Not long ago I shared the lyrics of a song that I had written many years ago. The song, Whispers, was based on the relationship between God and Israel as described in Isaiah 54. I'm going to share another lyric, written just as many years ago, also about Israel's rebellion and eventual restoration, this time from the perspective of Gomer. I hope you enjoy it.

Into the Desert

She knelt beside the alter
of the loveless god she served,
and sacrificed her self esteem,
her dignity and worth.
She left there feeling empty,
unsatisfied, alone,
wondering how her sense of freedom
had become a heavy stone.

She has gone out in the desert now,
her party is pain,
and she looks around her helplessly
as she whispers his name...
Then she cries out to the wilderness
"Why has everything changed?"
But the only one who hears her, (the only one)
the only one who hears her
speaks softly now,
and says "I am still the same"

She is stripped of all her masquerades
as she stands before the Lord.
He gazes at her lovingly,
this lost child He adores.
She says "I do not deserve your love,
I am guilty and unclean."
He says "You are just as beautiful
as any lamb I've ever seen..."
He says "Come, I'll be your strength".

So she follows him out
and she learns to trust
the one she calls Master
to be faithful and just.
She says "I'll serve no other now,
I'll worship you alone",
He says "you have learned your lesson well,
come, I'll lead you home".

She's come out of the desert now,
He is right there by her side.
She is clothed in royal linen
of pure and sparkling white...
and she marvels at the feast prepared,
(a wedding feast)
It is such a wondrous feast prepared
for the Master and His bride.

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