I Am the Prostitute
Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods . . . Hosea 3:1
Most of us are egocentric enough to think that we are the good guys in our own story. Generally, we feel we have a good heart and when we fail, we have our reasons. We hope that our good behaviors outweigh our evil ones. We’re not like those bad guys, who simply have an evil heart.
I can clearly remember however, when I first realized that if my story were shown as a movie, that I would not be the good guy. Hopelessly enslaved to the pill, there wasn’t much I wouldn’t sacrifice to pursue the evil that was destroying the lives around me. Oh no – I am the bad guy here.
This, I think, is the uncomfortable message of the story of Hosea, who was commanded by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Gomer bore three children, not all of whom were necessarily Hosea’s, and then ended up enslaved again into prostitution, at which point, Hosea had to pay, to get his unfaithful wife back.
It’s a miserable story, made even more miserable when I realize its point. I naturally read the story thinking how awful it would be if God asked of me what he asked of Hosea. The lesson of the story though, is not that I am Hosea, rather, I am the prostitute.
When we disobey God, following our own will, we cheat on him. We prostitute ourselves for whatever pleasure we derive from our destructive appetites. When we find our joy, purpose and meaning in food, drugs, affirmation, work, money, toys, and pride, we become enslaved to another. If the idea of being called a prostitute offends us – good. In our offense, we begin to understand exactly how God sees our disobedience.
If we want to be faithful to the God who saves us from ourselves, we must abandon our prostitution. We must daily turn from our own self-destructive will to follow God’s perfect will. No matter what it takes, we must choose to remain faithful to the only one who can fulfill our deepest needs.
Powerful…I never looked at myself as Gomer.
That’s how I read it now, even though it hurts to do so.