3:1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again [means to help and heal the relationship], though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love [the basis for restoring broken relationships] her as the LORD loves the Israelites [God likened Hosea’s marriage to His relationship with Israel who had also played the harlot by turning to other gods; Hosea experienced and understood what it was like to love another and not have that love returned], though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes [enjoyed during part of the worship of “other gods”].“
3:2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley [price of a slave was generally 30 shekels of silver (cf. Ex. 21:32; Lev. 27:4); Hosea, probably at great personal financial sacrifice, redeemed Gomer; some scholars suggest that the purchase price of fifteen shekels (the barley notwithstanding) was indicative of the fact that Gomer was “damaged goods;” this action on the part of Hosea illustrates the redemptive nature of God’s love].
Practical Consideration:The paths of sin lead to misery and enslavement.
When Gomer left her home and family she eventually ended up enslaved to another “lover.” Hosea had to purchase his own wife at great personal expense. Sin enslaves. Sin is costly for both the sinner and the one who redeems the sinner.
Practical Consideration:Love is redemptive.
Hosea’s love for Gomer was a gracious and forgiving love. He was willing to pay a price to buy back his wayward wife. He could have easily divorced her but instead chose to restore her. God’s judgment had redemption as its ultimate goal. God too, said Hosea, would bring home His faithless wife.
3:3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man [this action illustrates the disciplining nature of love], and I will live with you [just as Gomer would undergo a period of isolation, Israel would undergo a period of isolation; Gomer’s isolation would help her get her moral bearings back; Israel’s isolation would help her to get religious bearings back].”
Practical Consideration: Love must be tough.
Hosea exercised tough love to help Gomer forget her “lovers.” He isolated her from temptation and even kept himself from having intimate relations with her.
3:4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince [without benefit of national leaders; implied domination by another nation], without sacrifice or sacred stones [stone pillars raised in honor of a deity], without ephod [worn by high priest] or idol [without temple and priesthood, implying exile].
Practical Consideration:The Lord disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:6).
God will hold individuals and nations accountable for their sin. His discipline is redemptive in nature.
3:5 Afterward [after their separation from God (3:4), Hosea looked to the day when…] the Israelites will return [repent and return to God] and seek the LORD their God [once again worship God] and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD [suggests a new fear of the Lord based upon the hard lessons learned when they forsook the Lord] and to his blessings in the last days.