Exhort - I Desire Mercy


During the ministry of Christ, he directly quotes Hosea 6:6 not once but twice.  “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.”  Quoting a verse more than once is rare for Jesus.   He must be putting emphasis on this verse as a key to what God had sent him to do.  It is a passage that strikes at the nub of the problem with the Pharisees way of thinking.  In typically fashion, Christ provides a short succinct passage expecting the hearer to go search out its fuller meaning.  The first instance is in Matthew 9:9-13,

The First Principles of the Oracles of God

It may be of some surprise (it was to me) that the phrase “first principles” is used only once in scripture.

(Heb. 5:12)  "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."

A similar phrase starts the next chapter accompanied by a list of six foundation principles.