I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings — Hosea 6:6.
He who gives his will, his heart, to the Lord, gives all; he who gives not his will, who comes not in obedience of heart unto the Lord, can offer no sacrifice to the Lord that could be acceptable. "Behold to obey is better than sacrifice" is a lesson which should be deeply engraved upon the hearts of all the sanctified in Christ Jesus. To have the spirit of obedience is necessary, too, and whoever has the spirit of obedience will not only obey the Divine will but also will seek to know the Divine will more and more that he may obey it. It is of this class that the Scriptures declare, "His word was found and I did eat it"; and again, in the words of our Lord, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart"—Z '03, 220 (R 3224).
Mercy is compassion relieving the unfortunate. Sacrifice and burnt offering in this passage are a feverish activity contrary to the Truth and its Spirit. The knowledge of God is the Divine Truth. We are not to understand the Lord to mean that He does not desire our service; rather the thought is that the Lord prefers by far to have us keep the Truth and its spirit of sympathy in our hearts even apart from service, rather than to have us serve ever so diligently contrary to the Truth and its Spirit. A merciful and intelligent saint is more pleasing to the Lord than an active and ignorant worker who is unsaintly in his character. Mercy, service and knowledge blended are the ideals to be sought—P '36, 109, 110.
Parallel passages: 1 Sam. 15:22; Psa. 50:7-15; Eccles. 5:1; Isa. 1:10-20; 58; Matt. 12:7; Mic. 6:6-8; Jer. 7:21-28; Dan. 4:27; Amos 5:21-26; Matt. 5:7; 9:13; Prov. 21:3; Mark 12:33; Hosea 4:1; 6:6; 1 Chron. 29:9; Jer. 22:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:6.
Hymns: 154, 22, 49, 160, 134, 299, 326.
Poems of Dawn, 160: Cumbered With Much Serving.
Tower Read Z '13, 275 (R 5309).
Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What did they result?
CUMBERED WITH MUCH SERVING
CHRIST never asks of us such arduous labor
As leaves no time for resting at His feet;
This waiting attitude of expectation
He ofttimes counts a service most complete.
He sometimes wants our ear, our rapt attention,
That He some sweetest secret may impart;
'Tis always in the time of deepest silence
that heart finds fullest fellowship with heart.
We sometimes wonder why the Lord has placed us
Within a sphere so narrow, so obscure,
That nothing we call work can find an entrance;
There's only room to suffer—to endure.
Well, God loves patience; souls that dwell in stillness,
Doing the little things, or resting quite,
May just as perfectly fulfill their mission,
Be just as useful in the Father's sight,
As they who grapple with some giant evil,
Clearing a path that every eye may see;
Our Savior cares for cheerful acquiescence
Rather than for a busy ministry.
And yet He does love service, where 'tis given
By grateful love that clothes itself in deed;
But work that's done beneath the scourge of duty,
Be sure to such He gives but little heed.
Then seek to please Him, whatso'er He bids thee,
Whether to do, to suffer, to lie still;
"Twill matter little by what path He leads us,
If in it all we sought to do His will.