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)
Our God is the Inexorable Force of the universe. What He says always, ALWAYS comes to pass. When we become born again, He places His hand upon us in such a way that we must share His Truth and His Word. These verses illustrate what I’m saying:
But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Ac 4:19-20 NIV, underlining added)
But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jer 20:9 NIV)
“Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.” (Num 22:38 NIV)
In our hearts, we feel that force within us that compels us to testify that Jesus is the Redeemer of all mankind—the hope of all the world. If we are not aware of an inner inducement to share the Good News with others, then it is time to renew our commitment to the Lord and to rededicate ourselves to His purposes.
In Acts 17:16-17, we read that Paul was provoked to share the gospel message with the people in Athens. Jesus addressed His followers in Acts 1:8 to tell them that they would be His witnesses in this world.
We must confess, along with 2 Samuel 23:2: “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue.” Let us lift our voices and testify to the loving goodness and kindness of our God and Savior. The Holy Spirit (The Inexorable Force) within each one of us lovingly requires it of us all.
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12 AMP)
This verse of the Bible from the Amplified Version is quite clear on the penetrating, discerning power of the Word of God. How often do we think about the truth that the Scriptures are imbued with God’s power?
Because they are, it is vital that we make use of the Scriptures as a tool, a medicine, a comfort, a basis for praising God, and as our weapon.
The Scriptures were fashioned by God to:
- Accomplish their task (Josh 21:45; 23:14; Isa 46:10,11),
- Stand forever (Isa 40:8; 46:10-11; Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; 1 Pet 1:23-25), and
- Never lie (Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29).
There are many mysteries connected with Christianity, but one thing that we can be sure of is that God honors and upholds His own Word. Do a little studying into the various Scripture references cited above. You’ll be impressed.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. (Ps 33:11)
We do well to highly value the Scriptures.