Hosea 6:6 - God Desires A Love Relationship With Us And Not Just Formal Rituals.

Hosea 6:6 - God Desires A Love Relationship With Us And Not Just 
Formal Rituals. 

Hosea 6:6 (NKJV) For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the 
knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.  

Hosea 6:6 (TEV) I want your constant love, not your animal 
sacrifices.  I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to 

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. 

Hosea 6:6 (NLT) I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I 
want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.  

Hosea 6:6 (EAV) For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast 
love and goodness not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and 
acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings. 

Hosea 6:6 (CWR) You knew that I wanted your love, not more 
animal sacrifices.  I desired a relationship with you, not more burnt 

This verse is echoed in the words of our Lord in Matt. 9:13; 
12:7. [Believer's SB] 


Mercy means "loyalty" or "devotion" (4:1). [Nelson SB]

Loyalty. The Hebrew word is used about 250 times in the OT. It 
means loyal, steadfast, or faithful love and stresses the idea of a 
belonging together of those involved in the love relationship. [Ryrie SB] 

God wants the loving obedience of His people more than He wants 
their animal sacrifices. [Disciple SB] 

This love is not love for God as distinguished from love for 
one's fellow-men, but both. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

Repeatedly in Scripture the Lord tells us that while He has no 
desire for half-hearted religious ritual, He greatly desires hearts on 
fire for Him--those who will joyfully love God and love others. [Life 
Principles SB By Charles Stanley] 

Sacrifice apart from faithfulness to the Lord's will is wholly 
unacceptable to him (see 1Sa 15:22-23; Isa 1:11-20; Jer 7:21-22; Am 5:21-24; 
Mic 6:6-8; Mt 9:13; 12:7). [NIV SB] 


The iniquity in Israel during the last half century before the 
Assyrian captivity was like that of the days of Noah, and of every other 
age when men have rejected God and have given themselves wholly to 
evil-doing. The exaltation of nature above the God of nature, the worship of 
the creature instead of the Creator, has always resulted in the 
grossest of evils. Thus when the people of Israel, in their worship of 
Baal and Ashtoreth, paid supreme homage to the forces of nature, they 
severed their connection with all that is uplifting and ennobling, and 
fell an easy prey to temptation. With the defenses of the soul broken 
down, the misguided worshipers had no barrier against sin and yielded 
themselves to the evil passions of the human heart.  {PK 281.4}  [Remnant 

In chapters 4-6 Hosea demonstrates how the nation has broken 
each of the Ten Commandments. Can you find one statement 
corresponding to each broken command? [Your Daily Walk SB] 

No doubt all the neighbors talked about Gomer's sins and pointed 
an accusing finger at her. But now Hosea points a finger at them 
and reveals their sins. His message reads like today's newspaper; 
read 4:1-2 especially. Swearing, lying, drunkenness, murder, 
treachery, adultery, idolatry-these sins and many more were rampant in the 
nation. And to make matters worse, the nation tried to cover her sins 
with a shallow "religious revival" (6:1-6). Hosea is a master 
preacher; see how he pictures the spiritual condition of the people: (1) a 
morning cloud (6:4), here one minute, gone the next; (2) a half-baked 
cake (7:8), for their religion had not gotten deep into their lives, 
but was a surface thing; (3) gray hairs (7:9), losing their strength 
but ignorant of the change; (4) a silly dove (7:11), unstable, 
flitting from one political ally to another; (5) a deceitful bow (7:16) 
that you cannot depend on. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

   Like the rain (6:1-3). When we come back to God, He brings 
the dawning of a new day with the refreshing showers. The God who 
chastens us also heals and revives us. Why do we delay? Because of what 
we are like! 
   Like a morning cloud and the dew (6:4-11). Israel's loyalty 
did not last but vanished like a cloud and evaporated like the dew. 
They brought sacrifices and engaged in religious services, but those 
activities made no difference in the way they lived. Their sacrifices were 
substitutes for obedience (1 Sam. 15:21-23; Amos 5:21-24). [Chapter by 
Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 

The prophet sounded a note given also by the other 
eighth-century prophets (cf. Isa 1:11-17; Amos 5:21-24; Mic 6:6-8): God desires 
true faith rather than empty sacrifice (cf. Matt 9:13; 12:7). This 
was not a denial of sacrifice as such but only of improper, 
faithless sacrifice. God had commanded the people to sacrifice, but the 
ceremony had to be marked by a proper attitude of heart; otherwise it was 
meaningless and worthless (cf. 5:6). [Expositors Bible Commentary] 


God says many times that he doesn't want our gifts and 
sacrifices when we give them out of ritual or hypocrisy. God wants us first 
to love and obey him  
1	Sa 15:22-23; Obedience is far better than sacrifice.
2	Psa 40:6-8; God doesn't want burnt offerings; he wants our 
lifelong service. 
3	Psa 51:16-19; God isn't interested in penance; he wants a 
broken and contrite heart. 
4	Jer 7:21-23; It isn't sacrifices God wants; he desires our 
obedience and promises that he will be our God and we will be his people. 
5	Hos 6:6; God doesn't want sacrifices; he wants our loving 
loyalty. He doesn't want offerings; he wants us to acknowledge him. 
6	Amo 5:21-24; God hates pretense and hypocrisy; he wants to see 
justice roll on like a river. 
7	Mic 6:6-8; God is not satisfied with offerings; he wants us to 
be fair and just and merciful, and to walk humbly with him. 
8	Mat 9:13; God doesn't want sacrifices; he wants us to be 
merciful. [Life Application SB] 

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] 

   Some people are hopelessly optimistic.
   "I know," they say. "I know I did wrong, and God has punished 
me for it. But all I have to do is come back to Him. If I just say, 
'I'm sorry,' everything will be all right. Won't it?" 
   That's the kind of blithe optimism portrayed in verses 1-3. 
And it makes God shake His head in frustration. These people seem to 
think that some superficial turning to religion is what God wants. 
They seem to think that if they come to God and say "please," the 
LORD will be so delighted that He'll fall all over Himself to do them 
   But God wasn't interested in superficial religion then. And 
He isn't impressed by it today. God's judgments were intended to 
bring about a fundamental change in attitude, not a return to church! 
And so God said, "Your love is like a morning mist," and "I desire 
mercy, not sacrifice." 
   What do these two phrases tell us? First, that God isn't 
interested in fleeting emotions we may feel toward Him. He wants complete 
commitment. There's a vast difference between the "I love you's" 
breathlessly exchanged in the backseat of a car, and the "I do's" shared at a 
   Second, love for God is to be shown not just in religious 
ceremonies but in daily life. Flowers are nice. But real love is better 
shown by helping with the dishes, changing dirty diapers, and "being 
there" when support and encouragement are needed. God isn't satisfied 
with a bouquet tossed His way on Sabbath. He wants us to show our 
love for Him daily by doing His will. And so God seems to shake His 
head, and in frustration wonder aloud, "What can I do with you, 
Ephraim?" Despite the testimony of God's Law and the words of His 
prophets, Israel's concept of relationship with the LORD still remained 
shallow. And today we also tend to have a shallow concept of God. 
   God has no use for a "love" that is as fleeting and 
insubstantial as a morning mist. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary mod.] 

   No amount of activity for God will ever take the place of a 
heart that is right with Him. Through the ages God's people have been 
persuaded that they could please Him through their service and their 
offerings, regardless of their heart condition. King Saul offered generous 
sacrifices, hoping God would overlook his disobedience (1Sa 15:22-23). David 
may have assumed that after all he had done on God's behalf, God 
would overlook his sin (2Sa 12:7-15). Ananias and Sapphira thought 
that their generous gift to the church would compensate for their 
deceitfulness (Ac 5:1-11). Paul was certainly one who had thought his 
zealousness would please God. After his conversion, however, he concluded 
that even if he had faith to remove mountains, gave all he had to 
feed the poor, and offered his body to be burned for the sake of God, 
and yet had a heart that was not right, it would all be for nothing 
(1Co 13:1-3). 
   We are susceptible to the same misunderstanding as all of 
these people were. We can be deceived into assuming God is more 
interested in our activity for Him than He is in the condition of our 
heart. God has consistently made it clear that He will not be pacified 
by even the most generous offerings and zealous service if our 
hearts are not right with Him (Mic. 6:6-8). No matter how much we do in 
God's service, regardless of how active we are in our church, no 
matter how honorable our reputation in the Christian community, He will 
not overlook a sinful heart. His desire is that we devote ourselves 
to knowing Him and loving Him with all of our hearts. [Experiencing 
God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Hos. 6:6] 

   The doctor carefully examines his patient but can find no 
explanation for the young boy's unusual and persistent abdominal pains. 
Suddenly the child blurts out, "I know what the problem is - green 
apples!" "But how can you know for sure?" the doctor inquires. The boy 
replies, "I have inside information." 
   Truth is transforming - but only when it is internalized. 
God's Word brings conviction - but only when you expose your life to 
its convicting truths. God's Word is likened to milk (1 Peter 2:2), 
meat (Hebrews 5:12, 14), and honey (Psalm 19:10) - but it is only 
nourishing when you feed upon it. An untouched pantry full of food is as 
useless physically as an unopened Bible is spiritually. 
   Israel's spiritual bankruptcy could be traced to her vast 
treasure of untouched truth. It wasn't that the people didn't know about 
God. In fact, their very existence as a nation was based on that 
knowledge. Rather, they had failed to live by that knowledge - to embrace 
its implications in their individual and national lives. 
   How about you? Do you have "inside information" based on a 
living relationship with Jesus Christ? If you have never done so 
before, invite your loving Savior to come into your life. You'll 
discover that to know him is to love him! [Daily Walk Bible] 


Love God always, and you will always obey. [The 365-Day 
Devotional Commentary] 

The word of God will be the death either of the sin or of the 
sinner. [Matthew Henry Commentary] 


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