when god told his people that he desired mercy, not sacrifice,  he wasn’t just talking theory.   he was defining lifestyle.

the context was hosea,  chapter six.

  “What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears…

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”   Hosea 6:4,6

sacrifice was central to their lives as god’s people.   it was how right relationship with god was maintained.   it was how hearts were cleansed and priorities were re-established.   it was not an empty ritual,  but a life-giving expression of their love and devotion to god.

but it had been reduced to religious ritual.   it had become a soul-less act of empty tradition.   it did not come from the heart…rather,  it came from a hollow expectation that if they simply did their part,  then god was required to do his.   it was not about love.   it was about law.

and it had the shelf life of morning dew.

god has never wanted religion,  but that’s what he got.   and what he still gets.

“i desire mercy,  not sacrifice.”   he doesn’t want our religious ritual or our sunday traditions or our empty acts of spirituality.   he wants us to treat people the way he treats us.   with mercy.

mercy is action.   mercy sees the human mess and doesn’t run.   mercy embraces the dysfunction and distress and hurt and pain of others,  and brings relief.   mercy treats people the way god treats us.

in life,  there’s gonna be offenses,  sins,  abuse,  oppression,  atrocities.   things will happen to people who never should happen.   and because of that,  there will be poor people,  suffering people,  miserable people,  broken people,  as long as we are in this world.

but that’s why we’re here.  to be the samaritans…to be the merciful…to be the lights and the doors that point people to jesus.

leave your religious stuff behind.


3 thoughts on “Mercy

  1. It’s impossible for me to disagree. I guess that means I agree…… LOL

    There is a certain pain felt, thought, provoking, and real. It is impossible to come to know The Father through Jesus and not care about the things God cares about.

    It’s almost a palpable anxiety to share. I guess….. shrug shrug…. Trying to describe how it is to walk with God in this regard quickly leaves words behind. One thing is sure, however, “The Faith” is not religion!

    By His Grace.

  2. This is a discussion that I’ve had over and over with people. I’ve stepped on toes and really ticked some people off about it. I’ve got into email/facebook/in person disagreements about this very issue.

    We all have our own Bible verses, reasons and excuses for why we don’t show others mercy. We all have ways we justify the way we treat others or why we cross to the other side of the street when we see someone we “love” in need. See the thing is most of the time its not physical street at all. Most of the time it plays out in the narrow road we are called to follow.

    So I can find any verses I want to find to make me feel better for not giving mercy. I can look at any schedule I have and show you why I didn’t have time. I can show you my bank account and prove to you that I don’t have the means to show mercy.

    But in the end they are all crap! Jesus showed us the example. He didn’t have excuses, incontinences or reasons. He loved. I would hate to think that Jesus showed his love the way I do. It is only by the Grace of God that some mutt like me gets to experience His mercy.

  3. Today, today… this one – today these thoughts
    today, yesterday and tomorrow- this is what its all about.

    I’m glad you chose today to share what God told you … and to remind me….

    today this made me feel loved… and this road worth traveling.

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