God’s desire

Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Giving out of a sense of guilt or duty makes a resentful heart.  Giving out of pride makes hard heart.  Giving out of all these negative attitudes makes a perfect storm of self-righteousness.  

And the big problem with self-righteousness is that it’s ‘self’ focused.  Hosea called out to the people to acknowledge God; “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (v. 3)

Revival comes when God is truly acknowledged – like the rising sun and rain nourishes the soil so does revival nourish our dry cold souls –  if we make room for Him.  The Pharisees and Scribes were offended with the company Jesus kept; “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” (Matthew 9:10,11)  

These religious self-righteous ‘tithers’ were too good for ‘tax collectors and sinners’.  And according to them,  if Jesus was any good He should be too good to hang out with such ‘low life’ as well!  The Pharisees and Scribes had no room for mercy in their hearts and no room for revival.  They were too full of themselves.    Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 back at them; “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. ‘ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matthew 9:12)

You can’t be so ‘bad’ that your out of reach of Jesus’ love but you can think your too good for it.  If there is no room for mercy and compassion for others in your heart there’s no room for Jesus and revival.

About Tony Kiar

Studied at Queen's (BA, BSc, BEd) and Carleton (MA). Taught highschool math, computer science and physics for many years. Became a high school principal. Now retired, worked part time at a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Also a lay pastor with the Wesleyan Church, volunteer for Prison Fellowship Canada and New Life Prison Ministries.
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