For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:6 ESV
The book of Hosea is interesting in that God instructed the prophet Hosea to take a wife that He knew would be unfaithful to him. Hosea and his prostitute wife, Gomer, had three children and named each child with a name that reflected the broken relationship between God and His people Israel. The purpose in the book of Hosea is to illustrate the faithfulness of God in keeping His covenant even when His people were not faithful to Him. The book illustrates how God pursues and then redeems us from a debt that we could never repay. In the book of Hosea, Gomer represents Israel. In reality, it represents all who are the bride of Christ and the fact that we are prone to wander. We, as Christians, may be prone to wander, but God is forever faithful. With this truth it should cause us to passionately love God and not simply just know about Him.
For I desire steadfast love:
Love without relationship will often end in rebellion. God’s love for us is without question, but our love for Him may not be as evident. In fact if we do not intentionally make the decision to love God, we will wander slowly away allowing other things to take priority. Remember this important fact…. love is a choice and not necessarily a feeling. Love can create feelings; but if you love only based on feelings, you will fall short of true love. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 ESV When focusing on his commandments, remember also his teaching when He was asked, “Which commandment is most important?” Jesus answered, The most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other greater than these. Mark 12: 29-31 ESV You will only have this kind of love for God if you love him intentionally.
As Christians the greatest offering we can give to God is our lives lived intentionally for Him. Let this thought sink in. God gave His only Son as a sacrifice to pay the debt of our sins. How could
anything we offer up ever compare to his Son? When you feel you are giving something up in sacrifice to God, remember the sacrifice of God …. Jesus. The sacrificial death of Jesus means no more sacrifices are needed to pay the debt of sin, but instead we are to be living sacrifices. I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God, to present you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV If you live your life attempting to sacrifice by doing more good than bad in order to find favor and forgiveness from God, then you are failing. If you could succeed in this logic of forgiveness and favor with God, then it would make the sacrificial death of Jesus unnecessary.
Knowledge of God:
God does not want your tradition or ritual living to be your understanding of Him. God wants you to know him relationally. As a husband and a wife grow to know each other in a marriage relationship, so God wants you to grow in your understanding of Him. God will not divorce us for He is faithful, and the example in Hosea makes this clear. When we wander away, God will brings His bride…. the Christian / Church back to Himself. Salvation is not based on our ability but God’s faithfulness to His word. To have a knowledge of God is to know He will never leave nor forsake you. To have a knowledge of God is to understand He loves you more than life…. remember Calvary? To have a knowledge of God,… real knowledge, will cause you to live for Him. That is the difference between knowing about God and knowing Him in knowledge as Savior.
Always remember, you and I are the Gomers, and Jesus is the Hosea who purchased us by paying the debt that we could have never paid. Satan will sell you as a slave, but God purchased you with the blood of His Son making you free. For this I will bow down in worship and be eternally grateful, for I have been BOUGHT by the BLOOD of the LAMB of GOD!
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David