Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Read Hosea 6:6
It has been said that, “good things come in small packages.” That expression certainly applies to this verse. Even though the verse is short there is great impact in the verse. The verse comes in the midst of a prophecy against the nation of Israel. Hosea was quoting what God was telling him. God was frustrated that Israel was going through the motions of religiosity but not really acknowledging the Lord. Israel was performing the rituals of sacrifice but not understanding that a relationship with God is not a matter of ritual but a matter of the heart. If we are not careful we can make the same mistake. While there is benefit in worship or ritual that is repetitive we must be careful not to replace our relationship with God with religion.
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
The verse refers to the rituals that ancient Israel would perform in their religious practice. What practices do we perform in our worship services that might be considered ritual? What is the original intent of these rituals?
What is the danger of the rituals of worship? How do we prevent religious practice from losing its meaning and just becoming rituals we perform?
How do you need to acknowledge God more in your life?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we at times, can get caught up into the performing of rituals instead of the spirit or the meaning of those rituals. Lord, help me never forget that a real, active relationship with you in the main reason we perform any ritual in church. Lord, work within me so that I seek to acknowledge you as the Lord of all areas of my life and help me to draw closer to you. Amen.