My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ~Hosea 4:6
Several people today say that “ignorance is bliss.” However, that is not always true. The result of driving on a road without the knowledge that the bridge is out could not be described as “bliss.” Being ignorant of an accident that occurred at the foot of a hill may not be pleasant when you arrive at the spot at your normal speed, especially if no warning had been given to the patch of ice that caused the accident. And no student ever enjoys the famous “pop quiz” that the teacher gives without any prior announcement. In all of these cases, ignorance certainly could not be described as “bliss.” Similarly, ignorance in our spiritual lives is not “bliss” either.
God chastised the people of Israel for their lack of knowledge. He set up a legal case against them because along with their lack of faithfulness and steadfast love, there was no knowledge of God in the land (Hosea 4:1). Such an ignorance of God led the people to commit grievous sins in God’s sight. Hosea tells us that among the people there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed (v. 2). Any sin against God brings ruin to the one who practices it. These sins incurred God’s judgment on the people. Their destruction resulted from their neglect of God and His commands. Had they known of God and been obedient to His law, then they would have avoided the judgment. But they did not know God due to the priests not teaching them. The priests rejected God and forgot about His law when they should have been instructing the people concerning it (v. 6). The people’s ignorance did not result in delight but disaster.
In many respects, the problem with the people of Hosea’s day can be seen with us today. We also can be described as having no knowledge of God in the land. The prophet Amos, a contemporary of Hosea, predicted a coming famine that would plague the nation. However, this would not be a physical famine but a spiritual one. “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land-not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD (Amos 8:11). Such a famine appears to be apparent in the 21st century. Many lack a knowledge of God because they do not take the time to study His Word to discover this knowledge. They have placed the knowledge of other things as of greater importance than the very Creator Himself. Several in the church today have been described as “biblically illiterate.” Many can quote the latest sports statistics or explain the latest movie that serves as the current box office hit but they cannot begin to describe who God is as He reveals Himself in His Word. This is a problem with drastic spiritual consequences. J. I. Packer puts it well when he writes, “Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” Neglect of God ends with spiritual destruction.
The remedy for this problem is simple. We must take time to study God’s Word to learn more about Him. This is the most important thing that we can do that will make an eternal difference in our lives. So, how is your knowledge of God? Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) or would God’s indictment upon the Israelites also apply to you?
Love in Christ,