About the Book:
Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God's message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel heal Gomer's broken spirit?
With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.
I've heard it said that it is a man's world, and while that may not be completely true today, clearly for most cultures in history, it was true. It seems that the worst thing you could call a woman in Old Testament times was a harlot, yet I rather doubt that these women woke up one morning and decided that they'd prefer a life of prostitution to a life as a wife and mother. In the New Testament, it was the WOMAN caught in adultery who was going to be stoned until Jesus stepped in. Last time I checked, it took two to commit that crime. Where was her co-defendant?
Those were the thoughts that went through my mind before I picked up Love in a Vessel. As those familiar with the Book of Hosea in the Bible are aware, God called Hosea to marry a prostitute. God told Hosea that the prostitute would reject his love and return to her old life. God told him she would have children who were not his. God told him to love her anyway. In short, the book of Hosea is a metaphor for the love God has for us, children who reject Him even though He offers a better way.
I found Love in a Vessel to be an easy engaging read. In the book Gomer was sold into prostitution as a child, she didn't choose it. I guess in a lot of ways it is like us being "sold" into original sin by Adam and Eve. As God sent Jesus to save us, He sent a childhood friend and prophet, Hosea, to save Gomer. Once she started her new life, she could not embrace it completely, just as we reject God and sin. Just as we think things would be better if God did things our way,Gomer didn't like things Hosea was called to do and felt abandoned by him.
I read the book the first week in Lent and God and I are having some discussions about how He isn't doing things my way. That may be why this book ended up in my path this week. Still, though it gave me food for thought it was also a good story that fleshed out the Biblical characters and to me, made them more human.
I'd like to thank the publisher for sending me a review copy. Grade: B+.
“Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”