My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:6).
The beleaguered prophet spoke this message from the Lord. Israel, once a powerful people, were now reduced to servants. Why? Because they had forsaken a knowledge of God. As a result, they deserted His loving kindness and blessings for lawlessness. While there is “no knowledge of God in the land” (vs. 1), there is “swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery.” (vs. 2). God’s word is no longer the standard of truth. Instead, they “inquire of a piece of wood and their walking staff gives them oracles: (Hosea 4:12). Instead, Hosea says, they have “left their God to play the whore” (Hosea 4:12)!
The resulting punishment for their idolatry is the reason he declares Israel and Judah destroyed. The root of it all is their lack of knowledge.
Others before me have decried the illiteracy that plagues God’s people today. In an age where knowledge is so accessible, we starve for a basic understanding of The Lord’s plans, intents, and directives for our lives. We have become infected with good sounding false teachings because we do not know enough to discern truth from error.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).
While cursing and punishments follow the ignorant, blessing falls upon those who hunger for God’s righteousness. In Psalm 63:1, David cries, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you.” Later in Psalms, we read of the satisfied soul, “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9). As if foreshadowing the Beatitudes the psalmist declares that God satisfies the hungry.
All we know of God’s love, mercy, and grace, we know from the Bible. Salvation is unknown apart from the revealed word of God. In our joy and thanksgiving let us turn to the Scriptures to deepen our knowledge of him. Let us drink deeply from the ever flowing waters of truth and be filled with his knowledge. Only then will we truly appreciate his love. Only then can we discern good from evil. Only then will our lives become saturated with his truth.