Destroyed For Lack Of Knowledge Hos. 4:6
My People Are Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge
God revealed himself to Israel that they might KNOW Him. He revealed his teachings (law, commandments, precepts) that they would know what He desired from them. He set the priests in their midst to be teachers so that they would know Him and His ways. Hosea thus speaks about knowing and knowledge some 15 times.
The oft quoted text "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6) in context is an indictment of the priests for not doing their job. Instead of teaching the people, the priests themselves had rejected knowledge. Hosea continues God's indictment: "because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me". This was WILFULL ignorance of God. They REJECTED knowledge. God said of Israel: "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing" (8:12). As a result there was "no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land" (4:1).
God declared: "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6). God cannot be served in ignorance or by chance. It is a relationship based upon knowing God and His ways. To obey requires knowing His will.
When we turn to the New Testament, Jesus prays to the Father saying: "This is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3). Knowing God still involves knowing His word. Paul instructs us to "be not ignorant, but knowing what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17). The last thing that Peter commanded was to "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pet. 3:18). This is not mere 'head knowledge' but a knowledge that is put into practice. This must be a knowledge that changes our lives and character. "Hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him" (1John 2:3-4). Thus we are to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).
The danger is that God's people today can yet be destroyed for lack of knowledge.