Volume XVIIIssue 24
Published occasionally for Zion's mourners
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Hebrews 12::12-13


So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley. Hosea 3:2

In 1867 the United States bought the territory, (which is now the state of Alaska), from Russia, for the sum of $7.2 million, or roughly two cents per acre. Prior to that, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson, brokered a deal with France to purchase 828,000 square miles of territory (which comprises 12 states) for the sum of $15 million. This is called the “Louisiana Purchase. In 1969 the actor Richard Burton paid $1.1 million dollars for a diamond for his wife. At the time this was the highest price ever paid for a diamond.

In each of these historic cases the purchaser sought out and took possession of that which he had bought. The original owner had no further claim to the object of purchase. In none of these cases did the purchaser spend his money with any doubt as to what he was buying, how much it cost, or whether or not he would in reality gain that for which he had paid the price. This is the very definition of what it means to purchase something. A buyer buys what he pays for. The worth of the object bought is strictly in the eyes of the buyer and what he is willing to pay to gain it.

Hosea was commanded by the LORD to take to himself a wife who was a known harlot and to make provision for her, which he faithfully did. Yet this woman, Gomer, which in the Hebrew can mean “complete or perfect”, continued to prostitute herself and take many lovers, even considering that it was them who made provision for her. “For she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.” (Hos 2:5)

Little did she know that the husband whom she disrespected and had no regard for was in reality that one who continually, (even in her unfaithfulness); saw that her needs were met. “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” (Hos 2:8) The LORD here is using Hosea, as typical of HIS provision for the whorish nation of Israel. “Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” (Hos 3:1)

By all rights the LORD should have cast off the nation of Israel, numerous times, yet in order to show HIS everlasting love for the True Israel of GOD, HE extended to her great overtures of kindness and mercy, even though she had no appreciation for it, even attributing HIS demonstrations of goodness to her, to her many “lovers”. None of these “lovers” cared at all for her, yet she doted upon them and continued to embrace them. Who can fathom the depths of the LORD’s mercy and grace to that multitude of sinners for whom HE sacrificed HIS own blood.

Gomer is an illustration of the bride of CHRIST who has willingly sold herself into bondage and lain with many lovers. She has often disregarded HIS many overtures of kindness and knowingly disrespected HIM. She is estranged from HIM not because HE rejects her in any wise, but because she has become an enemy in her own mind by wicked works. Thus, HE has come once in the end of the age to reconcile her unto HIMSELF. (see Col.1:19-22) Even as the LORD gave this prophecy to Hosea. “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Hos 2:14-15)

We see Hosea going to the slave auction to buy back his own wife for fifteen pieces of silver and one and half homers of barley (i.e.; probably about a gallon). The value of Gomer was far less, even, than the thirty pieces of silver that was to be paid for any servant who was gored by an ox. (see Ex. 21:32). Barley was considered one of the poorer grains and its value far less than wheat. So, we see that she was of no worth and none looked upon her favorably or was willing to pay for her deliverance, but Hosea. In this consideration I am reminded of the LORD’s words to Ezekiel, concerning HIS regard for HIS remnant, “Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Eze 16:3-6)

As Hosea loved Gomer and valued her life in spite of her great wickedness and rebellion against him, so too has the LORD loved HIS bride from the beginning and has never ceased to provide for her even to the laying down of HIS own life for her. She has no worth of her own, she has no covering nor provision except that which HE in HIS mercy has gladly supplied. In like fashion has CHRIST paid a price to redeem HIS bride from bondage and in so doing has set forth the means whereby she might be reconciled unto HIM. For HIS own part HE has never been un-reconciled unto her and has always seen her as “perfect and complete” (i.e.; Gomer) but has now made provision that she might throw down her arms of rebellion and be reconciled in her own mind unto HIM. Thus, HE has purchased her redemption, not simply from the condemnation of the law which she despised but by this same purchase has made her to love HIM. For in the same blood with which HE has justified her, HE does give her guilty conscience rest and binds her unto HIMSELF with cords of love. “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hos 3:5) “And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” (Hos 2:23)

So, could it be possible that the GOD of Heaven and Earth, should fail to possess that which HE has both valued and paid for with HIS own blood on Calvary’s cross? No, a thousand times no. “He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:10-11)

There can be no grander purchase than this, nor any who can disannul it?

From whence this fear and unbelief? Hast thou, O Father, put to grief

Thy spotless Son for me? And will the righteous Judge of men

Condemn me for that debt of sin Which, Lord, was charged on thee?

Complete atonement thou hast made, And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er thy people owed; How then can wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in thy righteousness, And sprinkled with thy blood?

If thou hast my discharge procured, And freely in my room endured

The whole of wrath divine, Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand, And then again at mine.

Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest; The merits of thy great High Priest

Speak peace and liberty; Trust in his efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God, Since Jesus died for thee.(Toplady, #227 Gadsby’s)