Hosea 6: 1-11
Wednesday, 16 November 2022
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”- Hosea 6:6
The Book of Hosea is God’s love letter for a wayward nation that broke the covenant made with God, rejected Him and went after false gods and pagan practices. God’s relationship with the nation is shown in the parallel drawn between Hosea and his adulterous wife, Gomer. Despite the nation’s unfaithfulness and spurning of God’s merciful love, God’s heart was for their return to Him.
The nation Israel was looking upon God for material benefits, but never valued eternal blessings that comes from worshipping the true living God. Like Israel, are we looking for physical / material things from God or do we look to eternity the greatest blessing? Their worship turned to mere practices without having their heart in it. All worship if it is not carried out in God’s love and obedience, has no meaning. If your heart is far from God, then your worship becomes a mockery before Him.
Men and women come to church and offer their worship as a token of their love for God. But we cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those around us (1 John 4:20) God is looking for obedient and humble hearts that follow the Good Shepherd.
The following verses emphasizes this desire of His heart:
Obedience is better than sacrifice (1Sam.15:22,23)
God is not satisfied with offering. But expects us to be fair, just, merciful and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:6 -8).
God hates pretense and hypocrisy, He wants to see justice roll on like a river (Amos 5: 21-24)
God doesn’t want burnt offerings but life long service (Psalm 40: 6-8)
Jesus quotes Vs.6 in two instances; we can look at them and learn what He was trying to say:
Matthew 9: 13: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Here Jesus refers to how His mercy reaches out to sinners in saving them. While the Pharisees were trying to condemn those they thought were “below” their standard of righteousness, Jesus showed them God’s mercy in trying to win them into His Kingdom.
Matthew 12:7: “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”The Pharisees were sticklers for following the law to the dot without having the essence of what it contained; hence found fault with the disciples of Jesus. Acts of mercy replaced the ceremonial acts of Sabbath! In being merciful to others was an expression of God’s love and mercy.
God was merciful toward the people of Israel despite their sins. He is an unchanging God—He is still merciful and forgiving! But do we have a heart of repentance to receive this great blessing? A broken and a contrite heart, God will never despise (Psalm 51:17). For God, the salvation of the soul is of more value!
As the coming of the Lord is very near, God extends His love and mercy to everyone who would repent and turn to Him. Every act of rejection of God in our lives, we need to repent of and receive His love and mercy so that we will be prepared to receive Him when He returns!
Think on: “The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider ”. (Isaiah 1:3)