What God wants from us

Hosea Bible Background

12.10.2017 – Old Testament: Hos 6.4–6

To read the Bible in a year, read Hosea 5–8 on December 10, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

God loved Ephraim and He loved Judah, but sometimes the two nations acted contrary to Him, rebelling against Him and forsaking Him for other gods. He said,

“O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And your judgments are like light that goes forth.
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
(Hosea 6.4–6) 

Hear God’s disappointment in those first two questions. He had loved the two nations, but they rarely returned the love. What then could He do with two nations that did not love Him? Also, their faithfulness was like the dew that is only there until the sun hits it. He sought to bring them back to faithfulness by the words of the prophets, but it did no good.

What He wanted from Ephraim (another way of referring to Israel) and from Judah was that they would show mercy to one another and that they would know Him.


  • Are you a merciful person?
  • How much are you driven to know God?

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