Hosea 4:6-7 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.
Knowledge is something that almost everyone strives to get more of. This is why we go to school, seminars, training sessions, etc. Obviously, some things are not worth knowing and the Bible makes it clear regarding those things, gossip for example. General knowledge is important because it will help us in our endeavors of establishing relationships, making important decisions, and most of all- living a faithful Christian life.
With this being said, I want to clarify what I am saying so that this is not misconstrued. I am not saying that you need some sort of degree, diploma, or certificate to have knowledge. I personally know of several individuals who have gone to college and some who have done preacher trainings with local congregations, and it turned out well for them. At the same time, I also personally know of others who have done the same exact thing, constantly held their Bibles under their arms every day, and you would have no idea that they were Christians at one point in their lifetime. My point is, you don’t need to go to any kind of Bible school or attend a special class to have knowledge of God. What good does it do you to have all this knowledge of God, but you don’t obey him? It may seem cliché, but I want us to be very careful in the sense that sometimes, we can be “too smart for our own good.”
Consider the question, why were these people destroyed for lack of knowledge? Allow me to give you several reasons to consider. For one, these people did not train or instruct their children in the way that they should go.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
We need to be careful with this passage because it is more of a general statement or principle. This is not something that is guaranteed. As individuals, we have free will to choose whether or not to follow God. Just because people are raised in Christian homes does not mean that they will be Christians.
Secondly, I believe part of their problem was the fact that they allowed idolatry in their homes. This obviously goes hand in hand with the first problem. Idolatry is not necessarily a specific practice or thing. It does not have to be a statute of some sort. It can be anything that draws us away from God. Instead of getting closer to God, we get further away. While I don’t think that television itself is sinful or idolatrous, there are ways that it can lead to idolatrous practices. Spending too much time watching TV instead of reading God’s word. Constantly making time for different hobbies and never making evangelism a part of your life within your own family, neighbors, or those that you work with.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Does God come before work, school, social desires? How often have we said, “I can’t go to church because people are coming over to my house.”? Whoever these people are, why not invite them to services? Why not make arrangements for them to come to your house after services? If neither one of those is convenient, why not give them a key and have them make themselves comfortable while they wait for you to get back? Those are all legitimate ways of being able to remain faithful to God and be a good example for your visitors and your family. This attitude of “God will understand” is dangerous and we need to stop leaning on our own understanding when it comes to these issues. God absolutely does understand. He sees that we are too comfortable with putting Him on the back burner. He sees that we are ashamed of Him. He clearly sees that we are willing to serve ourselves instead of Him.
The final reason to consider is the fact that they were a terrible leadership. Consider Ezekiel 34:1-10! There is no doubt that this is something that does occur in local churches from time to time. The ignorance of the people was encouraged by a self-serving priesthood that were profiting from the sins of the nation. “I also will reject you from being My priest” appears to be an indictment of the false priests who professed to be teaching God’s law but for their own personal gain. They made the claim of having divine authority, approval, and endorsement but had none.
With this thought in mind, we can see that this is happening today. There are false teachers who profit through their false teachings, and they continue to keep others ignorant. They have no intention of ever coming to the knowledge of the truth or allowing any of their “followers” to do so. Some people do have knowledge. They read God’s word, they study it, some even have much of it memorized. Even with that considered, many still reject it. When it comes to following through with being obedient to God, something else is more important to them. Feelings and emotions may take over thus, they would prefer to be loyal to friends and family instead of God. Some would prefer to remain worldly. There could be a few cases of the “I think so” philosophy. The doctrines of men or traditions (Matthew 15:1-9) are more important. Do not be guilty of having a lack of knowledge. Rejecting God and His truths upon the basis of “ignorance” is not acceptable (Acts 17:30-31). Jesus tells us that the truth will set us free (John 8:32).
by Lee Elkins