There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.@Hosea 4:1
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Richard W. Adams (1952-)

Richard W. Adams, 2000.

I wrote this hymn July 6, 2000, while vacationing in Be­mid­ji, Min­ne­so­ta. I felt an urge to put words on paper, but did not have a subject, so prayed for one. Upon opening a Gideon’s Bible from the motel room, I saw a topic on the consequences of forgetting God, which led me to the passage in Hosea.

Martyrdom Hugh Wilson, 1800; arranged by Ralph E. Hudson, circa 1885 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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The Prodigal Son
Salvator Rosa (1615-1673)

Our guilt do we confess today,
Your law did we reject;
So little truth and mercy here—
Your Word sees no respect.

We swear, we lie, we kill and steal,
See harlotry increase;
We break restraint, and blood on blood,
Ignore the law of peace.

Our land, it mourns, we waste away,
For wisdom seek we not;
Destruction will our portion be,
If God we have forgot.

To crystals, stone, and gold we pray,
Those worthless things we preach;
Those sightless eyes, unhearing ears,
In vain do we beseech.

We well deserve the charge You bring,
Upon us lays the blame;
Contentious, proud, we stumble on,
Our glory turns to shame.

Show us that only in Your Word
Do truth and mercy live;
Send priests and prophets to instruct,
And Your pure wisdom give.

Have mercy, Lord, reject us not,
Draw us to seek Your face;
Direct our feet and deeds to You,
Restore us by Your grace.

Lord, melt these icy hearts of stone,
Make us Your counsel seek,
And sacrifice to You alone,
With humble hearts and meek.