Getting God Off My Back

I'm still trying to get my head around what God wants out of us when He catches up to us and convicts us of sin. Check out what God declares to Israel through the prophet Hosea."Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you. For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6: 5-6God made very clear what He desired from His people. Israel’s fickle heart, and shoddy definition of loyalty to God, is what prompted God to send His prophets in order to “cut them in pieces and kill them with words” In very strong language God was saying to Israel, “I sent my prophets to speak brutally honest words with you because you just weren’t getting it!” God clearly stated what He really wanted from Israel. God said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." God desired “mercy” which is the Hebrew word “Hesed” presented to us once again. God wanted His people to love Him with the same kind of love He had given them, and God desired more than mere religious activities. This is a very  interesting comment coming from the God who invented substitutionary animal sacrifice as the means for covering human sin (the sacrificial system of Judaism). Is God saying He’s throwing out the very forms of worship He created? No. God's declaring His deep dissatisfaction with the Israel’s hypocrisy. It’s just possible to look externally engaged in religious acts of repentance while being internally disengaged and totally unrepentant. God observed that the people’s burnt offerings meant absolutely nothing because they were all an act. Israel was going through the motions on the outside with no intent to think any differently or act any differently on the inside. God was saying to His people, “Just doing some religious act to get me off your back isn’t repentance. Responding as I've asked you to respond is repentance.”So how does God want us to respond when He corrects us? I think God would say this - “Please stop doing what you think will get me off your back, and start doing what I’ve asked” Does this hit home for you?