Hosea 6:6 - God Desire Love More Than Sacrifice.
Hosea 6:6 (NCV) I want faithful love more than I want animal sacrifices. I
want people to know me more than I want burnt offerings.
Mercy here can refer to right conduct toward one's fellowman or loyalty to
the Lord or both--the sum of what God requires of his servants. Here it
perhaps refers to both. The same Hebrew word is translated "love" in v. 4.
Sacrifice apart from faithfulness to the Lord's will is wholly unacceptable
to him. [NIV SB]
Hosea did not deny the validity of sacrifice offered in the right spirit,
but he declared that mere sacrificial ritual meant nothing apart from a
person's heart righteousness. [New Bible Companion]
6:6 Religious rituals can help people understand God and nourish their
relationship with him. That is why God instituted circumcision and the
sacrificial system in the Old Testament and baptism and the Lord's Supper in
the New Testament. But a religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried
out with an attitude of love for and obedience to God. If a person's heart
is far from God, ritual will become empty mockery. God didn't want the
Israelites' rituals; he wanted their hearts. Why do you worship? What is the
motive behind your "offerings" and "sacrifices"? [Life Application SB]
Our heart attitude toward God comes first. Only then can we properly obey
and observe religious regulations and rituals.God wants to see the power and
not just the form of religion in each of us. It takes quality time with our
Maker to have this power otherwise we just have the form. [Life Application
SB re Mat.12:7]