For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 NABRE
Hosea was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom, Israel. He is speaking as a prophet, sharing what he has heard from the Lord. Much of his prophecy is about Israel’s sin and unfaithfulness to God. In the quoted verse we hear the Lord telling the people where true worship lies, steadfast love and knowledge of God. These words have a significant impact on Christian tradition, because they get to the heart of what religion is about. Jesus quotes these words several times in His teaching. Jesus responding to the religious leaders of the day who challenged Him for eating with tax collectors responds, “Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) Later when the religious leaders again condemned Jesus’ disciples for doing something unlawful He says, “If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.” (Matthew 12:7) Jesus truly underscores his teaching that God judges not to condemn but to save. Jesus bears witness to the prophet Hosea who preached truth against all those who want to use a worthiness system to judge others. God’s judgment is about encouraging good not condemning bad. God is the only one in the universe who we can trust to judge us.
God wants us to know that it is relationship He desires, and to know Him. We can spend time in worship adoring and praising God, but it has no meaning if we don’t put God first and know what He desires. This is why we need to love first, than we can have a true experience of God that builds our relationship with God and makes us truly understand judgment is for our good not for our death.
How are you loyal to God? Do you spend time getting to know God through His word and in prayer each day?God wants us to know that it is relationship He desires, and to know Him. We can spend time in worship adoring and praising God, but it has no meaning if we don't put God first and know what He desires. Click To Tweet
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