When God said these words through His prophet Hosea, times were rough and the messages were hard to swallow.
The people had gotten complacent about their offerings, their sacrifices, as if throwing up another one to keep them right with God. Once that chore was done, they would move in to the important thing: their own pleasure.
God smacked them with, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”
There are other places we see these words echoed. Seems the people thought offering their grain, oil, and animals eliminated their need to show mercy to their neighbors.
Do we do this today?
Think about when a natural disaster hits. When my husband and I had the opportunity to go to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc, we saw the outpouring of clothing and goods in semi after semi. We also saw the organization where much money was donated turn certain people away. What was most telling was seeing fewer than forty volunteers covering the parish to help get trees off roofs and tarps in place.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m so grateful for every person who said yes to a call to help. Every roll of paper towels, every can of corn, every package of diapers, every case of water was a treasure to those whose lives had been rocked.
Still, there was nothing like looking into the eyes of the woman whose house had been dark for a week, no water, little food, and handing her a box of the things she desperately needed.
There was nothing like sitting with the lady whose house had been invaded by a fallen tree tell the story of how she had been standing right there just moments before and how God had rescued her and her whole family.
When we extend love by extending ourselves instead of our wallets, there’s a difference. Maybe not in man’s economy, but most definitely in God’s.
And the second part of that verse, “I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” (Bet you thought I’d leave that part off, huh?)
God doesn’t want our hat tip at Him as we walk through our routine each day.
Get up ✔️
Brush teeth ✔️
Grab coffee ✔️
Do devotional ✔️
Help kids with homework ✔️
He wants us to know Him.
Check out Philippians 3:10 in the Amplified Version: “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope”
THAT is knowing Him.
As much as I love devotionals – heck, I wrote one – we’re not going to know God through them alone. Knowing God on the intimate level Paul wrote about requires time in His book. I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to understand. Try a different version. There are several I use that are true translations from the original languages. Find the one that is easiest for you to understand, then read it. Ask questions. Write those down, then when you get the answers, write those down. Dig in. Take a week to read a chapter. It’s not a race.
And when you know Him better, every area of your life will change. Oh, the routine may stay the same, but your outlook on rising, coffee, work, and family will be different.
Let’s give it a try today. Pick a chapter and dig into it. Keep digging until you find God. He said He would be found when you search with all your heart.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.