Many of us are familiar with the character Gomer Pyle on the old Andy Griffith television series. For decades, I associated the name Gomer with that type of character — a simple, naive, good-hearted MA. Because that name was locked in my brain as a man’s name, I always felt sorry for that poor woman in the Bible — a prostitute, no less — who bore the name Gomer, which I considered too masculine (and far from enticing). I even wondered why God would call a prophet like Hosea to marry a woman with such a homely name!
Studying Hebrew one day a few years ago, I was engaged in conjugating the verb that means “to finish or complete or perfect, to bring to a close.” That verb is rendered as לגמר (ligmor), and — guess what! — the form of that verb that means he finishes, completes, or makes perfect is nothing other than GOMER! So, that means that Hosea (a variant of Yeshua or Joshua, meaning he will save) will complete or finish or make perfect his bride! Hosea the prophet serves as a type of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who completes and finishes His Bride! What a picture of our destiny as believers in Jesus!
When we read Psalm 138:8, we hear the psalmist declare: “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” The word used for will perfect is none other than yigmor, the future tense of gomer. Moreover, Paul reiterates God’s promise to complete the work He begins in us through Christ Jesus. In Philippians 1:6, he writes “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (NLT).
Evidently, Gomer is not a bad name at all! Do I want Jesus to complete His perfect work in me? Absolutely! For that matter, have I been unfaithful to His commandments and character at times in my life? Definitely! In that sense, I am no better than the prostitute Gomer in the Book of Hosea. As such, I welcome the completing, finishing, perfecting work of my Messiah Yeshua, and I myself am more than honored to be reminded that my name is really Gomer, for My Lord is in the process of completing and perfecting me to reflect His glory! I suppose that, if a boy can be named Sue, a girl can be named Gomer! 🙂