highly recommend reading the book of Hosea along with any commentaries you find helpful. If you’d like a theme summary:
Hosea is commanded by G-d to take Gomer, a prostitute, as his wife. He does so. Gomer cheats on him and returns to sleeping with other men, seemingly caught in prostitution. G-d tells Hosea that this behavior is a picture of Israel’s ‘prostitution’ with other gods and how Israel (Gomer) returns to sin even when G-d (Hosea) has married her and redeemed her. And Hosea can know and see how pained this makes G-d, the husband of Israel.
But G-d still redeems Israel (Gomer), even after she sins and betrays her husband. Hosea takes her back as a picture for how faithful G-d is to restore those who stray from Him.
That is how big his love is for us… while we were yet whores, prostitutes, sinners caught in shame… He loved us, sent His Son and died for us. If we look at ourselves and say, “I am filled with shame. I can never be whole again. I shouldn’t even try. Forget marriage, forget joy and fullness of love and giving with a partner… I’m too sinful, too dirty…” then we spit on the face of the L-rd who saved us, redeemed us. We say “G-d, your Son’s sacrifice was not enough. My sin is too big for you. Sorry, I’m going to give up now.”
Please embrace the message that Hosea gives us. We are all Gomers! We are dirty and unclean… but He loves us and redeems us, making us, his beloved, clean again! White as snow!
There is redemption. There is rejuvenation!
PS: My life is the perfect illustration. I’m not a virgin anymore– not physically anyway. I lived in sin like Gomer for many years. But I had to recognize the mercy and grace from G-d and truly accept it as it is– perfect, all-powerful, and bigger than any of my dirt and grime. We Christians claim to understand grace and mercy all day long. We tell people to “get saved! It’s free! Your sins will be wiped clean!”
But do you believe this yourself? Or have you believed it in the past? If not, believe it now. Know that He is Good and He cleanses us fully when we repent and turn away from our sin.