This is what I am now. Broken. And this is what I should be. My name is Gomer. I wasn’t always this filth. Once I was happy.
The day of my wedding. It hurts to remember it now. The rabbi pronounced us married. And I turned to my husband. My new husband. Hosea. You should have seen his smile. He was so in love with me. He had built me a home. Built us a home. He was a man of God. He always treated me so, so well. He loved me just because I was his.
And then I thought I found someone better. I noticed another man who was taller than Hosea. Better looking. And he treated me well, too, when we’d meet in the street. And when Hosea held me, I’d pretend I was in this other man’s arms. It was just my imagination. It didn’t matter. And then I went into the other man’s arms.
I left Hosea. I left the man who had smiled so much on our wedding day. I left him for someone else. And it was good. The other man prized me. For a while. And then he decided he wanted someone else. And I was. I was alone.
It was better with Hosea. But I can’t go back. I can’t dirty him with what I’ve done. So I dwell in the ruins. I’m not good enough for him. I’m not good enough for his love. I’m not good enough for his smile. I am broken. I sell myself, but I know what I’m worth. Nothing.
Is this where you are? Do you sit in the ruins?
“No. I don’t have time for that. Do you have any idea how busy I am?” Do you know why we’re so busy? Because if we stop and slow down, we’ll realize that we sit in the ruins of what we have done. We’re scared to slow down and see the consequences of our own actions. It’s easier to be busy, to not have time to think. We say we want to slow down. But really what we want is the excuse to not have to slow down. So we run after something else, and it enslaves us to its schedule, to its demands.
We don’t want to remember: God was so good to us. Can you imagine an entire day every week to bask in the goodness of what God has given? Can you imagine being prized for simply being his?
But that wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to go out and make things better with what we did. We wanted to work instead of being given gifts. We wanted to be busy instead of savoring the goodness of what God has given. We wanted to make things better than perfect… but we can’t. We only make things worse and worse. More of me won’t fix this.
And we long for freedom… but we’re scared of it, because that means admitting who we are. Admitting what we’ve done. It means seeing ourselves for how broken we are. It means seeing the ruins around us and saying: This is what I’ve earned.
I sit in the ashes. I am worth nothing. Nothing. Abandoned by anyone I chased after. Traitor to the only person who loved me.
Someone stands before me. Someone is ready to buy me. I heave myself to my feet. The man says, “How much for you?”
And I set my price: The price of a slave. But not in silver. I’m not even worth that. That price in barley. The grossest grain, the most worthless grain. Just like I’m worthless. Because I’m not worth anything. Not after what I’ve done.
“Deal,” the man replies. And I finally look up.
It’s Hosea. My Hosea. My husband. The one I left.
And he’s smiling.
And his words: “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.”
You are to live with me many days. I’m going to live with him. He’s not going to use me the way so many others have. He loves me. Even in my filth. And he doesn’t care that my filth will rub off on him. He claims me for his own.
“You will not go back. Never again.” My past doesn’t define me. What I’ve done doesn’t define me. I am not what I was. I’m not imprisoned by my actions.
“And I will be with you.” He’s claiming me. He shouldn’t have to pay for me. I’m not worth it. But he pays anyway. He makes me his own.
This is what Jesus has done for you.
In your brokenness, do you feel like Gomer? Do you say, “I am too filthy. I’m not good enough. I am broken. I’m not worth paying for.”
But Jesus looked at you and said, “I will pay your price. Though you left me. Though you thought something else was better. I will pay the price to gain you back. I will redeem you from your empty way of life. I will lay down my life to make you mine.”
And he does. He pays for you on the cross. And he rose again for you. And now he looks at you in your filth, in your brokenness, and he speaks.
“You will live with me many days.” He is not afraid of your filth. He cleans you. He is so clean, that instead of your filth rubbing off on him, his goodness rubs off on you. He gives you his record. He is not afraid to claim you as his own. He says, “This one belongs to me! This one is so dear to me! And this one shall live with me in my home!”
“You will not go back. Never again.” Your past does not define you. Not anymore. You are not what you were. You have been made new. And Jesus smiles to see you. These things that make you feel filthy? These things that say you are worthless? They are dead. They are gone. You are new. And Jesus holds you and rejoices over you. “You are mine!”
“And I will be with you.” He’s not ashamed of you. If someone points at what you did, Jesus says, “Yeah, it’s true. So what? I took that away. I rejoice. This one belongs to me!”
And do you understand what that means for you?
You don’t need to find your value in what other people think you’re worth. It doesn’t matter what they think. Jesus paid for you. He doesn’t regret it. If God is willing to go that far for you… well, if someone else thinks different, they’re wrong!
And when you think you’re worthless, when you dwell in the ruins, remember what Jesus has told to you: Your sin is that great. But I paid for it. I’m not afraid of it. I’m not afraid of your filth. You are mine.
Yes. Your sins leave you in the ruins. But Jesus has bought you back. Rejoice. You are not worth nothing. Jesus has paid for you. He has bought you back. And he does not regret it.