Hosea 6:6 says, “For I delight in obedience rather than sacrifice.” In my life, I’ve always taken heart when it says words like, say “Yes,” and sacrifice to the point where sometimes I can even get that martyr spirit where I’m like, “Oh, look at me. I’m laying down my life. Oh, I don’t have a vehicle. Oh, I don’t have the nicest clothes, because it’s all about the sacrifice for the Lord.” And I remember when that revelation came that Jesus cared more about my obedience to Him and my heart than sacrifice.
The obedience in that word in Hosea 6:6 can also be translated as loyalty and loving kindness. And if we think about that, we think about what that fully means, that God delights in obedience, God delights in our loyalty to Him. God delights in our loving kindness to Him rather than sacrifice. Or it’s a heart posture towards Him that we’re willing to sacrifice, but it’s the fact that we’re obedient to His voice.
1 Samuel also mentions this when Samuel’s talking to King Saul. And in that passage Samuel says, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” He says, “To heed is better than to sacrifice the ram.” What are we supposed to heed to? The voice of God. And it reminds me of when Abraham took Isaac up and he was willing to sacrifice. He was obedient to the Lord to sacrifice Isaac. But what would’ve happened if Abraham didn’t heed to the voice of God and went ahead and sacrificed his son? We would all have a different outcome.
And so I just want to encourage you today to heed the voice of God and to be obedient, and recognize that it’s not always about our sacrifice, but it’s our heart posture. It’s our willingness to the Father.
And so Jesus, we just thank you for what you’re doing today. And we just ask right now, God, that you would transform our hearts to be obedient to you. Lord, that may we be loyal to you. May we heed your voice. May we recognize that it’s not always about what we give up. It’s not always about the sacrifice, but it’s about our hearts listening and being one with you. And so we thank you, Jesus, for what you’re doing today, and we ask, Lord, that you would continually encourage us when it comes to being obedient to your voice. Amen.