It should be no surprise that God sent Hosea to love the prostitute Gomer. After all, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12). If you believe this, it makes perfect sense that Hosea was called to love Gomer since we are all Gomer.

Perhaps something inside you has taken Rom. 3:10-12 to mean that other person who has sinned so grossly. Perhaps you imagine that it hardly includes you. If you have attached your worth to the good things you have done or the sins you have avoided, you are living by works. If it were true that the good things we do establish and maintain our value before God and people, then works are what matter most. If works are what matter most, then grace is no longer grace.

But look again. Romans 3:10-12 is not cloudy in its meaning. It leaves no room for our exceptions. Its declaration is clear.

"… no one righteous… "

"… not even one…"

"… no one … understands …"

"… no one … seeks …"

"… all have turned away…"

"… they have together become worthless …"

"… no one … does good …"

"… not even one."

If you can fit your name between these lines for special favor, I will be impressed. It is a bleak and stark reality designed for a beautiful purpose. It is a sour and nasty medicine designed to prepare our souls for the sweetness of grace.

If Gomer can stand beside the best of saints with her head held high, then hurray for grace. If Gomer can expect the most godly of men to come and woo her, then hurray for grace. If someone as failing as David can be held up as an exemplar king, then hurray for grace. Then we all have reason to rejoice.

Under works there is "no one righteous,"

but by grace everyone can be made righteous (Romans 5:19).

Under works there is "not even one,"

but by grace everyone who believes (John 3:16).

Under works "no one … understands,"

but through grace our minds are renewed (Romans 12:2).

Under works "no one … seeks God,"

but grace crucifies our sinful desires (Galatians 5:24).

Under works "all have turned away…"

but by grace we are called to belong to Christ (Romans 1:6).

Under works we have all "together become worthless"

but by grace we are all made worthy (Ephesians 4:1).

Under works "no one … does good …"

but by grace we are saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

Under works "not even one" will be saved,

but Grace calls out …

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28).

I am Gomer!

You are Gomer!

When that person you admire for their godliness comes your way, do not consider your works alone and find yourself unworthy. Consider the grace of a God who not only saves but also "forgive[s] us our sins and purif[ies] us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

I am Gomer!