Do you know what God wants from us? Hosea 6 tells us that God wants our faithful and loyal love and knowledge of Him. God wants a loving, faithful and lasting relationship with us built upon complete trust and dependence in Him as the true and living God. He does not want us to trust the lie of self-sufficient strength and wisdom.
In fact, God does not want our empty and shallow religious rituals that fades away like the morning mist (Hosea 6:4). Instead, God wants us to know Him and give our lasting love to Him as God (Hosea 6:6). Worship and other religious rituals are important to God but only if done from a sincere heart of love and obedience for Him. God has never wanted our shallow religious words and deeds that are passionate one day and unloving the next. God has always wanted our genuine heart love for Him through a personal and close relationship. He does not want us to know just facts and information about Him as God. God wants to have an intimate relationship with us. One way of showing our loyal love and closeness for God is by obeying His covenant commandments (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:5-21). Jesus summarized God’s commandments by telling His followers to love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-31; John 13:34-35). Empty religious rituals can never take the place of our sincere love and faithful obedience to God (1 Samuel 15:22-23; Isaiah 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7). Religious rituals apart from faithfulness to God and His commandments are wholly unacceptable (Jeremiah 7:21-23). Besides, our genuine love and wholehearted obedience to God brings God’s blessings (Deuteronomy 28; Proverbs 3:1-8).
Moreover, God wants everyone to genuinely turn away from sins and turn to Him with a wholehearted repentance (Psalm 51:16-17). God sees through any superficial repentance. Instead, God desires our heart cry for sincere repentance as a sinner of need of His mercy, grace, and forgiveness (Hosea 7:14; Luke 18:13). We all need God’s love and mercy every day that is found through heart faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and turning from sin. As we turn our hearts to God through faith in Jesus Christ, God sends us His Holy Spirit to live within our heart. God’s Holy Spirit help us live a life of holiness, purity, and victory (John 14:15-21, 23-29; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit works within our lives to keep us away from sin and walking in God’s obedience (John 16:8, 13; Romans 8:26-27). Even more, as we truly confess and turn from our sins and turn to God with our whole hearts, God is faithful and just to forgive us (Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:8-9).
Finally, God does not only want us to show love to Him, but also show love to others. He wants us to live out love and mercy to others more than our sacrifices and religious rituals (see also Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7). God is always faithful and loving (Deuteronomy 33:3; Psalm 136) and He wants the same of His people. In essence, God wants us to reveal His love and His very character in the way we speak and live every day. These actions are called practices of God’s righteousness and justice (see also Amos 5:21-24).
Life Application Study Bible. Carol Streams, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2005.
NLT Study Bible. Carol Streams, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2008.
Spirit Filled Life Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Bible Exposition Commentary. Victor Books, 1989.