Hosea 4 and 6 Let Us Pursue Godly Knowledge

“Let Us Pursue Godly Knowledge”              Hosea 4:3, 6; 6:3, 6                WC McCarter
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Hosea’s Background
In these verses we are presented with a problem and a solution. Hosea is preaching during a time when things are economically and politically prosperous in Israel. The nation had not seen such success sense the days of David and Solomon. Yet, the priests, the prophets, and the people had turned away from the Lord. They worshipped false gods.
Lack of Knowledge
The two verses we looked at from chapter four bring us into the courtroom of God as He brings charges against the nation of Israel. Their great guilt is seen best in their lack of godly knowledge. Three issues are brought up in 4:1. The first two prove the third. If there is no truth or mercy among the people, then there can be no claim to the knowledge of God in the land.
4:6 tells us the situation point blank, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” There is the problem in a nutshell. The people would fail because of their lack of godly knowledge. They paid no attention to the things of God. They gave no thought to His standards. They did not consider His great love and covenant faithfulness. Their end was destruction. The northern tribes of Israel were destroyed and the people led away into captivity never to return again in 722 B.C. by Assyria. What was the charge God brought against them before that destruction? They lacked knowledge. Now, in this sixth verse, the focus has changed. God no longer talks broadly of all the people, but He specifically targets the priesthood. After all, the priests were the teachers of the people. At any time that the people of God lose sight in godly things, the leadership must bear the bulk of the burden. The Lord says that the priests had rejected knowledge. I would say that there is no more frightful time in the history of a group of people than when the leadership fails to acknowledge God and seek His wisdom. We cannot help but recall the words of the Lord in Matt 15:14, “They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.
Such strong language is used toward the people and mainly the priests. Words like destroyed, rejected, and forgotten encapsulate the problem. There are no accidents here. Destruction will not come upon them by chance. God is able to pinpoint the very foundation of the problem: the priesthood. The leaders have rejected knowledge which has led to the people’s lack of knowledge which ultimately led to their demise as a nation. Through the prophet, Hosea, the Lord has brought a charge against the land. The people are guilty. Their sentence is sure. Their end is destruction. As we leave this section and turn to chapter six, the words of the Lord resound in our minds, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Let Us Pursue Godly Knowledge
We have been informed of Israel’s problem. The Lord has gotten to the root of it. We may take it as a critical warning in our own day. Yet, Hosea’s message is thorough. He states the problem, but he also gives the solution. You know, churches are great at stating all the problems, but you rarely hear any solutions. Well, Hosea gives both. It is extremely simple as well. Things do not have to always be complicated. He says in 6:3, “Let us know; let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.” Godly knowledge is not something that simply happens, but it is something to be pursued. It is something for which we must reach. It is something for which we must strive (Phil 3:7-14). This is a great demand for fellowship with our Father in heaven, and we are promised that if we pursue this knowledge, we will not be disappointed. The Lord says in Matt 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” As 6:3 says, God’s unfailing love is as sure as the sunrise in the morning.
6:6 is a famous and highly important verse of Scripture. It teaches us the meaning of true worship. It tells us what it means to live by faith and have a relationship with the Lord. Christ Jesus uses this verse on a couple of occasions during His ministry. He truly wanted the people to examine this verse and understand it. The people during Hosea’s time and the people during Christ’s time had allowed ritualistic worship to become an obstacle in their relationship with God. Do we think that our age is any different? Maybe some of you have allowed tradition and ritual to come between you and your Savior because you simply go through the motions. God wants more than your motions. He wants your heart. He wants to change more than your behavior. He wants to change your mind.
Conclusion and Application
So, you see, there is a problem and a solution. There is a warning and an encouragement. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge; therefore, let us pursue the knowledge of our Lord.
1. Pray for your leaders in the church and in the country.
2. If you are going to state a problem, be ready and willing to work on a solution.
3. Do not allow tradition, ritual, or anything else to come between you and your Savior.
4. Pursue the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Acknowledge Him in all your activities.