So I bought her for myself

Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.”
(Hosea 3:1-5)

Hosea married a woman (Gomer) who played the harlot. God used Hosea’s marriage to illustrate vividly His relationship to Israel as their loving and devoted Husband.

In this book of Hosea, we see the broken heart of God hurting for what Israel is doing to Him and to herself. Yet, He lets Israel go her own way. The loving Husband allows his wife Israel to sell herself to other men. The “raisin cakes” of pagan religion are just too alluring to resist. Children are born, most likely they are other men’s (Hosea 2:4). He watches in agony as she begins to reap the consequences of her idolatrous ways.

It leaves Israel broken, poor, used up, empty and destitute. The image in Hosea is of a harlot that had been used so much she is only worth half the price of a slave. Can you imagine Hosea walking up to that slave market? Can you picture when their eyes first met? What did she look like at that point? How did Hosea view her? With what kind of heart and attitude did Hosea approach his wife?

With love. With mercy. With grace. With acceptance.

God, because of His great love, redeemed Israel and brought her back to Himself. He “allured her,” “spoke kindly to her,” and blessed her richly even after this devastating betrayal (Hosea 2:13-19).

He does the same for us today. It is precisely the picture of grace that God shows to you and me.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
(Ephesians 2:4-5)

The church is like that bride. We are Gomer. We all have sinned, played the harlot and left the loving husband, God Almighty. Yet in love He purchased us back to Himself, not with 15 shekels and bushels of poor man’s grain, but with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Let’s think about this over the weekend. May it renew our love for our wonderful God and remind us of how we should think of each other.

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:1-7)

Do Not Go to Glean in Another Field

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn” (Ruth 2:8-9).

Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ” And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.” So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law (Ruth 2:21-23).

The book of Ruth is about redemption. To the Jews, it told the history of King David’s great grandmother, and to the Christian it tells us where Jesus came from (Matthew 1). Ruth and Naomi were “redeemed” by Boaz. He was their savior or redeemer in a sense. Because of Boaz, the family line of Naomi’s deceased husband and sons would go on through the child of Boaz and Ruth. Moses’ law was designed by God to help widows in situations like this so that their family line, inheritance and properties would not be lost.

Just like Boaz was Ruth and Naomi’s redeemer, Jesus is our redeemer. He paid the price with His own blood when we were powerless and enslaved to sin.

What I want to focus on this morning in connection to this redemption is the advice that Ruth received from both Boaz and Naomi. “Do not go to glean in another field.” Make sure that “people do not meet you in any other field.” If you want Boaz’ redemption, then stay on Boaz’ property!

Take that advice and apply it to our relationship with Jesus. Stay in Jesus’ field! Do not go to glean in another’s field. People should not meet us in any other field. If we truly desire and honor the redemption given us through the precious blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18), then we won’t be trying to harvest the devil’s crops.

Jesus is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5; 2 Corinthians 11:2). He instructed us by saying, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

Paul follows that concept up with the idea of us eating at two different tables.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:21-22).

The exhortation for us today is to stay in Jesus’ field and live in full gratitude of His redemption. Let’s harvest on His land today. Our friends should not meet us on another field. No more planting, cultivating and reaping in the Devil’s field. That means keep our minds pure when we are on the internet and watching TV. Don’t be reaping in the Devil’s field. It means keep ourselves loyal to Christ in our business decisions and associations. Being in Jesus’ field means that we go to Him first for comfort, support and advice.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:7-9).