ESOCS Devotional 5 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.”Hosea 6:1
TEXT: HOSEA 6: 1- 6
Come and let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him.
3 Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth.
4 O Ephraim, what shall I do with you? [says the Lord] O Judah, what shall I do with you? For your [wavering] love and kindness are like the night mist or like the dew that goes early away.
5 Therefore have I hewn down and smitten them by means of the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; My judgments [pronounced upon them by you prophets] are like the light that goes forth.
6 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.
This scripture opens with a call for all Israelites to return to God. Israel had sinned against God. They had turned away from Jehovah to go after other gods. The consequence was a grievous one on them. He tore them to pieces with great affliction; He brought sickness on them and did great damage on them. They were a people that dutifully brought sacrifices and burnt offerings to God. But God greatly afflicted them nonetheless. This was because their religion was empty. They brought sacrifices and offerings while their life was full of sin and all forms of wickedness. They paid lip service to their relationship with God. Their hearts were far away from God, for the life they lived did not in any way validate their profession of faith and the duties they performed for which God dealt grievously with them. The reason for such severe discipline was that they had not understood God’s true desire. They thought that dutifulness in performing their religious duty was what was necessary in standing right with God. But religious duty including all offerings without righteousness is empty, completely of no value and unacceptable to God. He states clearly in verse 6, “I desire mercy not sacrifice and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offering.” God seeks those that will love Him and live by His word.
Here the Bible calls all who have not truly devoted themselves to God to return unto God. It teaches us that all who may be dutifully performing any religious functions or duties whose lives do not correspond to the true Christian life need to return to God for the things they do to be of any value before God. God’s desire is that man should turn away from sin and serve Him in truth and in spirit (John 4:22-24). No number of gifts or religious duties can replace this. In Christ Jesus, He has provided the way of the salvation for man. He waits for the sinner to come.
- Examining your relationship with God, which of this is applicable to you?
- Dutiful member b) Born again C) All of the above
- Merciful Father, thou who gave us your Son Jesus Christ, forgive me all sins and failures that turn me away from you. I give all that I am to you. May my whole life be consecrated to you and for your glory. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 18:1-18; Jeremiah 31:15-22; Matthew 26:1-5; 26:69-end
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ESOCS Devotional 5 April 2023