What God Wants From Us
Come, let us return to the Lord, For it is he who has torn, but he will heal us;
he has struck down, but he will bind our wounds.
Verse 1a: Clearly relates to Lent; a call for conversion.
Verse 1b-c: In literal context speaks of the exile and hope of restoration of Israel, can be seen as a promise of the restoration of brokenness in ours lives ("...he will heal us...he will bind our wounds.")
He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence.
Verse 2a: In the literal context we see the hope for quick deliverance and judgement ("He will revive us after two days;").
Verse 2b-c: We see both prophetical reference to the Resurrection of Christ("...on the third day..."), and to salvation ("...he will raise us up, to live in his presence.")
Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord; as certain as the dawn is his coming. He will come to us like the rain, like the rain that waters the earth.
Verse 3a: Again, another verse that can be related to the Lenten call to conversion ("Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord").
Verse 3b: Also relating well to Lent and Easter, where we enter into Baptism or renew our Baptismal promises ("He will come to us like the rain, the rain that waters the earth.")
For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The literal sense of this verse speaks of the days of Temple Worship where sacrifices of burnt offerings were made on the altar. Even then, through the prophet, God was telling His people whant was more important to Him ("...it is loyalty...and knowledge of God..." )
Of course we don't sacrifice birds or animals at the altar of our churches today, but it is still important to offer those things God wants from us.