The Lord spoke to Gomer that night that night before she fell asleep, saying, “I have loved you, my daughter, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. I will rebuild you, My virgin. You will again be happy and dance merrily with tambourines.”
“But Lord,” Gomer softly replied, “I left You for raisin cakes… I left You for other lovers… O Adonai! I left You for nothing.”
“Yes,” the Lord replied, “You have cheated on Me and gone astray, and I am indeed married to a harlot, but My love will make you pure.”
“Lord, I’ve hurt so many people – my husband. O Yaweh! Hosea is such a good and loving man, and I betrayed him and left him to raise my children. My Lord,” she wept, trembling as waves of grief and remorse swept over her. “I’ve lost Hosea, but if You will have me, I will give myself to You and I will walk in obedience to You from this day forth, only please, please help me. Don’t let me wander away again. Hedge me in Lord!”
The Word of the Lord came to Gomer, wife of Hosea, daughter of Diblaim, “Fear not, My daughter. I have hedged you in with thorns on every side so that you cannot chase after those other lovers anymore. And yes, I will have you as My bride and I will help you. “
For the first time in many months, Gomer slept soundly and peacefully. She awakened the next morning to the sound of cursing. He was still there! “Adonai, please protect me,” she prayed fearfully as her heart pounded rapidly in her chest. “O Lord, You are my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Slowly, she inhaled, then, as she exhaled, she felt a strange peace envelope her.
She opened her eyes to find him looming over her, his beady eyes scrutinizing her. “Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help,” she silently prayed as she cowered on the floor where she had slept so peacefully the night before, slowly rising up to sit and look up at her intimidator, holding the rag she had used for a blanket tightly in front of her.
“Here,” he said gruffly, throwing a loaf of bread and some jerky on the ground beside her, “eat this. There’s water by the fire.”
“What are you up to, Phineas? Why are you suddenly so interested in my well-being? You’ve never cared before,” Gomer calmly stated, bracing herself for the blow which was sure to follow.
Instead of the rage that normally possessed him, Phineas threw his big ugly head back and laughed uproariously. “Let’s just say I’ve had a change of heart,” he said evilly, and his seemingly benevolent words brought a chill of fear down Gomer’s spine. “Go ahead, eat up! You’ll need your strength.” At this, he cackled gleefully, as he left the cave that was their makeshift home.
Ravenously, Gomer grabbed the loaf of bread and the jerky as soon as she was sure he had gone, and began to eat. She had only eaten a little, when she felt her stomach revolting in pain against the food, so she quickly put it aside and crawled to the warm fire that her foe had rekindled before he left. Thanks be to Elohim! He had also left enough firewood in the cold damp little cave to keep the fire burning for the rest of that day and the next. “And look at that,” she marveled. “There’s more food and water too! O Lord, I don’t know what he’s up to or why he’s being so generous and kind all of a sudden, but thank You. Whatever his motives are, I will trust You to protect me.”
Gomer smiled as she settled herself before the warmth of the fire, and she thought back to better days. She smiled as she remembered the look in Hosea’s eyes when Jezreel was born, as she held him to her breast for the first time. They were both so happy then…
“Just look at him Gomer! Have you ever seen a more beautiful child? Or a more beautiful mother?” Hosea softly spoke, as he leaned down to kiss her gently on her mouth.
“Oh! He is beautiful Hosea, and so are you my love! You are such a good man, Hosea and I love you so much,” Gomer said passionately. “So, what shall we call him?”
“The Lord said we are to call this child Jezreel, because He is about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel,” Hosea said with passion. “Yes, we will name him Jezreel, which means God sows, because He has planted this child as the firstborn of our family. He has blessed our union!”
“Yes He has blessed us, but really Hosea, can’t we just enjoy this time together with our new baby without you always preaching? I’m grateful and happy, but I don’t want to talk about religion right now. I just want us to enjoy the moment together,” Gomer said irritably, feeling instant remorse when she saw pain flood Hosea’s eyes. “I’m sorry Hosea,” she said quickly. “I love you, and I am really thankful for our son. It’s just all so overwhelming, and I’m tired and cranky. Can you forgive me?” she asked, reaching up to caress Hosea’s beard, pulling him down to lay beside her and their newborn son.
“Of course I forgive you. I love you Gomer,” Hosea responded huskily. “Don’t you remember? I love you with a love that will never let you go.”
Joyfully, the three of them drifted off to sleep until the baby’s cries a few hours later woke them up. They were so young and excited, so very much in love, and as Gomer nursed Jezreel, they talked about their hopes and dreams for their life together. They made their plans like most young people do, with rose colored glasses, never dreaming of the obstacles and disappointments that would come their way. They had no way of knowing how the everyday humdrum of life would wear on their love, distancing them, building walls between them. How could they know as they lay there laughing and holding one another and their son, so filled with love for one another and joy, that in the next few months their lives would run a course of anger, pain and destruction?
Cheryl A. Showers