…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. – Hosea 4:6 NIV
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Hosea, who is credited with the writing of the biblical book named after him, that contains the scripture for today’s devotion was an Ephraimite and a Prophet in the Northern kingdom of Israel. He prophesied at a time when the Almighty God needed to let the Israelites of the Northern kingdom know that he is unhappy with their relationship with him. Their act of spiritual adultery was widening the gap between Him and His people. Using the private life of Prophet Hosea as a demonstration of His planned anger for them, He made them realise that all they will get from Him as reward for their spiritual adultery was punishment and rejection – Hos.1:2-8. However, despite his anger towards them, He was still willing to accept them back as a demonstration of his act of forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation. He again used the private life of Prophet Hosea to demonstrate this by asking him to go and show love to his adulterous wife – Hos. 3:1-5.
God through the Prophet Hosea then went ahead to list the charges against Israelites in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 4, of this biblical book of Hosea. He listed their wrong actions as;
1. Lack of faithfulness to Him.
2. Lack of love for Him.
3. None acknowledgment of His person in the land.
Instead there is;
1. Cursing, lying, murder, stealing and adultery amongst them.
2. There is the breaking of all bounds amongst them.
3. There is constant bloodshed upon bloodshed amongst them.
The effect of all these is sadness, waste, hunger and poverty and instead of the Israelites admitting that all these listed errors were the reasons for the challenges they were experiencing, they chose to accuse one another of being the cause of those challenges, just as it occurs today amongst Christians – (Hos. 4:3-4). Both Priests and Prophets are not spared of these accusations too and, together with the people, they have all fallen into one form of calamity or the other.
The Almighty God in the scripture today says the reason why all these calamities are coming on the people is;
1. Because they lack knowledge. To lack knowledge is to have no knowledge. They are simply ignorant of the ways of the Lord.
2. Because they have taken a decision to reject knowledge. By this, God means that their lack of knowledge is not because of the absence of a means of acquiring it, but because they are simply not interested in acquiring knowledge of God.
3. Because they have taken a decision to ignore the law of God. This implies that there is a deliberate act on their part to do things against known instructions of the Almighty God.
Due to these acts, the Almighty God also chose to reject and ignore them, the effect of which is the difficulties that they are experiencing.
By this message, God reveals that it amounts to ignoring and rejection of His person when His people do not create time to acquire knowledge about Him by studying His Words. He does not see how His people can avoid sin if they will not create time to know what he wants and what he does want.
The conduct of the Christian today is not too different from what God is complaining about with the Israelites. He is not even waiting for them to misbehave because they lack knowledge of who and what He wants from them. He sees not creating time for acquiring knowledge of His Word as an act of ignoring and rejection of His personality because, He is the Word (Jn. 1:1-2) and that, He will not accept from a people who claim to be associated with Him. The Christian today needs to ask him/her self what disposition he/she has for the Word. We seem to be more interested in the promises that is in Christianity rather than the God that is the foundation of the religion. No wonder there is so much difficulty, poverty and suffering in Christendom, especially amongst people who will not spare time to read, hear, learn or meditate on the Word. Greater time is spent on issues that will not provide knowledge of Word and more is spent on issues that are not Word-related during Christian gatherings. Changes will have to be effected amongst Christians especially during their gatherings to emphasise the dissemination of the Word so as to avoid destruction that today’s scripture says, accompanies those who lack the knowledge of the Word.
Spend more time acquiring this knowledge as it is obvious that it remains a golden key that opens the door of greatness for anyone who does that, Christians inclusive. May God grow in us all the appetite for knowledge of Him through His Word in Jesus name. Amen.