|Behind the Word(s) –
Gomer (Hebrew) Go’-mer – complete or completion.
Dibaim (Hebrew) di’bli-yham – two cakes, or from two sources (implies doublemindedness)
When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. (Hosea 1:2,3 NKJV)
I wonder how I would react if my pastor announced he had married an Internet porn star. Then if time went on, and I learned she had not actually turned from her former ways, I informed my pastor and he simply said – “God told me to marry her”.
I often comment on the importance of biblical names. This book, the first of the Minor Prophets, actually often gives the name meanings as it goes to make certain I don’t miss what’s behind the word.
First let’s step back and look at the greater context of the book. The harlotry of Gomer is directly contrasted by God to the harlotry of Israel and their unfaithfulness toward God. For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord. How great is our national harlotry in the eyes of God? How great is my personal harlotry in the eyes of God? How do I root out my own harlotry?
A few souls have lived lives as God’s prophets with amazing challenges – Isaiah walked around naked and Ezekiel played with toy war scenes. Hosea’s challenge was great – pick a wife who will certainly be unfaithful, living up to her name as a daughter of double mindedness, but love her as if she was faithful. Could you continue to love a continuously unrepentant unfaithful spouse? God does. He continues to love this sinner and hate my sins. Through Grace, He provides an unending well of forgiveness that exceeds my repentance. He continues to love me although I continue to be unfaithful.
My personal application of these opening verses is to simply consider my own harlotry, the ways large or small in which I am an unfaithful partner to God, and how blessed I am that he continues to love me in spite of it. It is easy for me to focus on the sins of my nation as if I was not a part of it, or focus on worse sins than mine as mine were diminished in their shadows. My responsibility to the return of my nation to the heart of God is to first return myself fully to the heart of God and allow the searchlight of the Holy Spirit to penetrate my hidden heart and shine His Light where I’ve allowed darkness to continue. Only then can I stand in His authority and declare His Word to others and encourage them to do the same.
It could also be said of Hosea, what was written of John the Baptist — This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1: 6-9 NKJV)
Have you examined your faithfulness to God? The Northern Kingdom of Israel never set a national goal to abandon God, but allow it to happen slowly over time. Are you still a son or daughter of “two cakes”, with a partial allegiance to the Lord trying to balance your bible on the fulcrum of an ever corrupting culture?