Once again, God gives a command to Hosea to go back and get Gomer. This time, she has strayed so far away that Hosea needed to buy her back (verses 1-2). He does so for 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a half of Barley. The rich typology continues in this book as we look at both silver and barley. Silver is always associated with redemption or to buy back. Barley represents the rich blessings that await those who come back to the Lord from their backslidden state. The numbers themselves are important. 15 is the number 5 x 3. Five stands for grace, and three is God’s number. So, it is only by God’s grace that the runaway Gomer (or believer) can return. It is also the only way a person can be saved! But what’s with the 1 ½? In Hebrew, whenever a ½ is used, it means that we are not seeing the complete picture. In order to see the complete picture you must add the rest (or 1 ½). 1 and ½ plus itself equals 3. So, the rich blessings that await the runaway Gomer are partly hers, but the rest is up to her. God has done his part, but she also must do hers!
When Hosea finds her and buys her back, he instructs her that she is not to leave anymore and warns her not to be involved in adulterous relationships (verse 3). And in yet another foreshadow, God says the people of Israel will not have a kingdom to call their own (verse 4). But there will come a time when the Messiah comes to set up His kingdom, that Israel will again seek the Lord and David their king (he will be resurrected and sit on a throne with Christ), and they will know that God is Lord of all. This will happen in the last days (verse 5).
Kingdom Truth Reflection:
I heard something yesterday and posted it for my Facebook status. It was, “Bible knowledge is good, but it means nothing if you do not have a heart for Jesus.” When I heard those words, I was reminded of how much God had shown me in His Word. The different types, the truth of the Kingdom, the intricate details He has shown me in Scripture. But I was also reminded of how easy it is to sit on a pedestal and think we have some pretty good knowledge that most don’t know, but if I don’t sacrifice my life daily for Christ, it all means nothing. Nothing at all. It is akin to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13. We can have good knowledge, we can have cool stuff we know, but if we don’t have love, if we don’t have an intimate relationship with Christ, it amounts to nothing. And that beloved, is a scary thing.
Much like the homer and ½ of barley, God has (by grace) done His part, but we must also do ours. We must respond when the Word of God calls. We must answer when we are disciplined. We must pray that our hearts stay soft and pliable.