For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hos 6:6)
This Scripture verse states two things that God prefers over a burnt offering:
- Mercy – God wants His people to show compassion and kindness to others, especially anyone who is in need.
- Knowledge of God – God wants us to know Him, and one important way to do that is to read and to meditate upon His Word. He has given us His Word in order to allow us to learn all about Him, and about His truth.
So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Sam 15:22)
God says clearly here that obedience is better than sacrifice. He wants us to obey Him and His Word. He asks us to live in agreement with His Word and His wisdom.
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Pro 21:3)
The Bible passage shown above teaches us that more than sacrifice, the Lord desires:
- For us to live righteously – This means to live a holy, good, and moral life among men, a life that honors God and obeys the Word of God.
- For us to do justice – This means to live with a sense of fairness to all, and to treat everyone equally. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal 5:14)