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The cry of God to His people through the prophet Hosea is beautiful and a bit haunting. And certainly unique. One of the most staggering things in the entire book is that 4 times the prophet records things God wants from you.
Literally, God says “I WANT.”
That ought to make you sit up and pay attention. There’s no room for confusion here.
But first, let’s look at what is going.
God has Hosea marry a prostitute and continually chase her down and bring her home, even though she lacks faithfulness. God uses this to illustrate to Israel that His love is constant even when theirs is not.
After Hosea’s call to the nation of Israel and his warnings of the coming judgment, he pleas with them to repent. And it’s interesting how he does this. His call to repentance starts with an invitation to know God.
Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. ~Hosea 6:3, NLT
Related: What Does God Want From Us?
What does knowing God have to do with repentance?
When you truly know God, your heart will be sorrowful about your sin. And so He calls us to know Him.
And the promise is there: press in to know Him and He will respond. He won’t leave you hanging.
What a beautiful, precious promise. You don’t look for Him, wondering if He will hear you, turn to you, respond to you. No.
You press on to know Him with full confidence that He will shower refreshing on you.
What are the things God wants?
4 times in this passage the prophet records the things God wants. They are simple, and yet they make all the difference in the world.
- Hosea 6:6a: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.”
- Hosea 6:6b: “I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”
- Hosea 7:1: “I want to heal…”
- Hosea 7:13: “I wanted to redeem them…”
God wants your love, not your sacrifice.
“If you love me, you’ll obey my commands.” (John 14:15)
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
God doesn’t want you to walk around giving things up. He didn’t come to have you live a life of denial, self-punishment, and loss. He came for you to have abundant life.
God knows that when you love Him, truly, you may give some things up but you won’t lack anything. The things that you give up are only to make room for the better blessings of a loving Father to His precious child.
God wants you to know Him.
It was the call of His heart in the garden, the cry of His heart from the cross, and the longing for future communion that He will have with you one day (Revelation 21:3).
He wants to know you. Intimately. To call you beloved. And when you do, He will tenderly and graciously respond to you.
God wants to heal you.
“A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.” ~Matthew 15:30, NLT
Now, not every sick person was healed in Scripture and not every sick person is healed today. However, you can read that Jesus had compassion and the majority of time He healed sick people.
His heart…it’s for you…and He wants to heal you. But in His time and His way.
God wants to redeem you.
That’s why Jesus died. Just accept that gift of redemption that God holds out to you.
He wants to redeem you, sweet friend. He longs to redeem your brokenness with complete joy, your frailty with His strength, and your sin with His life.