I am in the middle of a study of the book of Hosea right now and just finished teaching on one of the more powerful verses of scripture in this book. God through Hosea is trying to get the people, who have stopped following him, to return. He warns them that the spiritual leaders are leading them astray.
He is showing them through this book that no matter how terrible their lives have become he loves them anyway. He shows them that He will have to follow through with his judgment and punishment of them, but he has never stopped loving them. That’s the basic message of the book of Hosea.
However in Hosea 4:6 he gives us some insight as to why. Hosea writes: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (KJV) Another translation puts it this way, “Destruction has overtaken my people because they have no knowledge; because you have given up knowledge, I will give you up, so that you will be no priest to me, because you have not kept in mind the law of your God, I will not keep your children in my memory.” (BBE) Another rendition, not a translation, but an attempt to help us understand the meaning says, “My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you.”
The book of Hosea has so very many teachings that can be compared to our modern world, but this one stands out as a beacon on a hill to me. It is so easy to compare our present world to the world of Hosea. It is a world in which many of the “priests” or religious leader have stopped following the Word of God and are telling people what they want to hear so they can have bigger crowds in attendance. We live in a world where people believe it is more important to entertain people and be politically correct than to speak for God. Yet in 1 Peter 4:11 we read, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
The accusation is laid at the feet of the priest, (preachers or teachers) in Hosea of failing to hold to God’s Word. However the people are also the ones who are cut off because they forgotten what God really wants. All of this is to say that each and every one of us is responsible for our own souls when it comes to understanding The Word of God. We will not be able to face God in judgment and say, “But my priest, preacher or teacher said,” or “My parents raised me this way.” Each of us have a responsibility to “search the scripture” to read it and know what God expects of us in belief and actions.
So, once again I am urging you, pleading with you, to read your bible. You should know the passage from Acts 17:11 already, where it is recorded, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” The question is then, “Do you do the same or will we be destroyed because of a lack of knowledge?”
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.