“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).
In Hosea, God asks Hosea to marry a prostitute who continues to cheat on him to show how Israel continues to prostitute herself as a nation with other gods. I know. Kinda brutal. But so is adultery and prostituting yourself with other gods.
In this book you can literally feel the heartbreak of a God who longs and loves a people who continue to cheat on him. Now, it wasn’t that the Israelites were not offering sacrifices or keeping their holy days. They were doing all those things while they were pursuing other lovers.
What God wanted from the Israelites was their hearts, their loyalty, their allegiance, their fidelity, their love. It is absolutely possible to go through the motions of religion while being absolutely distant in heart.
I share this with you because I have a confession to make. I found myself going through the motions of reading the Bible, praying, and journaling everyday while my heart remained distant. Even while I was reading God’s word and praying I acted as if God weren’t even there! Can you imagine? God sitting right across the table from me as I am reading his word and praying to him, and totally ignoring him and acting as if he weren’t even there?!?!
Goodness gracious!!! What an idiot!!!
So, every time I read God’s word and every time I pray, I talk to him as if he’s really there. You know why? BECAUSE HE IS!!!!!
So, the next time you read God’s word and pray to him, won’t you read and pray as if he were really right there with you? You know why? Because he is!