The Book of Hosea in the Bible’s Old Testament paints a picture, from the life of Hosea and Gomer, of how God extends love to people who have rejected Him and been unfaithful to Him.
It also paints a picture of the cost of that redemption.
The Love of the Redeemer
After leaving Hosea, Gomer sunk deeper and deeper in the social scale of the day eventually hitting the bottom and being sold as a slave. She was being sold to pay depts she was unable to pay.
The slave auctions of those days would have stripped the person being sold of all dignity. Before the auction Gomer’s clothes would have been removed so that the men might see what they were buying. There she was before the world standing naked, guilty, and unable to free herself from the blocks.
How does God respond to Gomer’s situation?
God commands Gomer’s husband, Hosea, to redeem her in her nakedness and guilt.
Hosea 3:2 “So I bought her for 15 shekels of siler and a homer and a lethech of barley.”
Why would God command a good man like Hosea to redeem his guilty and continually unfaithful wife, Gomer?
Because redemption is an act from God’s nature. Redemption demonstrates that God is love ( 1 John 4:8-9).
God sent Jesus Christ to the world to redeem people who are slaves to sin. Jesus did this at a cost much higher than 15 shekels of silver – with his own life and blood. Notice what these verses say about God’s work of redemption.
The Cost to the Redeemer
We have all gone astray, but God placed our sins upon Jesus:
Isaiah 53: 6-8 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted ye he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent so he opened not his mouth…..he was cut off out of the land of the living stricken for the trangressons of my people.”
God shows us his love in sending Jesus to die in our place:
Romans 5:6-10 “For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person though perhaps for a good person one whould dare even to die but God shows his love for us that in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Redemption can’t be made through perishable things like silver but with something more valuable. … The death of Jesus took our punishment:
1 Peter 1:18 “You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed but with the precious blood of Christ.”
True Redemption always comes at a cost.
To redeem someone is to pay a cost to free them from an obligation.
We all owe a debt to God, which we cannot satisfy, for our sin and rebellion against him. Jesus’s death was God’s love in action to pay the cost of salvation for a people unable to save themselves.
How much does God love you? Enough to buy those you back from the blocks of slavery to sin by the blood of his own son.
This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s work on the cross is sufficient for any person to be saved and to have his life changed.
How? Not by doing. Not by following the rules. Not by anything but faith and repentance.
Faith means transferring your trust and hope from anything you can do to make God pleased with you, and instead placing your trust and hope in Jesus’s sacrificial death as the only reason why God is pleased with you.
Repentance means more than just saying “sorry God”. It means hating those things with God hates and by his strength turning from them to him.
God’s promise is that whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but will be welcomed into the family of God. In the next post, I’ll look some more at the love God clothes us with when we repent and place our faith in Jesus Christ.