Who would want to?
The Hebrew prophet Hosea – that’s who! Initially, he nurses the pain of anger when Gomer leaves him for a polyamorous dalliance with others. The patriarchal law of his time and place would have allowed his claim on her life. Instead, we see a tender wooing back, prompted by an insight into YHWH’s yearning for his wayward people,
In a tender love poem, Hosea once again courts Gomer. (Hosea 2:14-23)
The Rev’d Dr Keith Rowe contrasts the harsh history of the valley of Achor and “a door of hope” (v15).
As much as I baulk at the uncompromising retribution in the face of the greed of Achan described in the above link, I cannot ignore the parallel suffering of the vulnerable caused by today’s uncompromising focus on greed. The “door of hope” that Hosea so eloquently espouses matches much of our yearning for the cessation of violence, comprehensive care for others and nurture of the natural environment.
The contemporary gift of Hosea is a reframing of the context for the frustration and powerlessness experienced by many who seek to act for change against uncompromising commercial and political forces – our valley of Achor. A shift of perspective that focuses on our love (God’s love) for uncomprehending and fickle game-changers will unlock the “door of hope.”