God’s Saving Word: Mercy and Forgiveness
Hosea 6:1—7:2: The LORD expects fidelity, but the people’s love for the LORD vanishes like early morning dew. The LORD’s message is one of judgment and destruction because of the evil deeds of the people.
The People’s Insincere Repentance
6 The people say, “Let’s return to the Lord! He has hurt us, but he will be sure to heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds, won’t he? 2 In two or three days he will revive us, and we will live in his presence. 3 Let us try to know the Lord. He will come to us as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth.”
4 But the Lord says, “Israel and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist; it is like dew, that vanishes early in the day. 5 That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction. What I want from you is plain and clear: 6 I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me.
7 “But as soon as they entered the land at Adam, they broke the covenant I had made with them. 8 Gilead is a city full of evil people and murderers. 9 The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for someone. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately! 10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: my people have defiled themselves by worshiping idols.
11 “And as for you, people of Judah, I have set a time to punish you also for what you are doing.
7 “Whenever I want to heal my people Israel and make them prosperous again, all I can see is their wickedness and the evil they do. They cheat one another; they break into houses and steal; they rob people in the streets. 2 It never enters their heads that I will remember all this evil; but their sins surround them, and I cannot avoid seeing them.”
Today’s Key Verse: Hosea 6:6
[The LORD says:] “I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me.”
What do the people say they will do (6:1-3)? How does the LORD respond (6:4-6)? What evil acts are cited in 6:7-10? What prevents the LORD from helping Israel (7:1-2)? When have you felt the need to be healed of sin and restored to God?
Dear God, you see deep into my heart and know my every thought. Cleanse me of any evil that is lurking within my heart and mind. Draw me close to you so that I may live in the presence of your everlasting love. Amen.
Hosea 8:1-14: Israel is condemned for idol worship.