In chapter four of Hosea, God condemns Israel for her refusal to obey His Word. In verse 1 we note, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” What a desolate condition!
This was a time when there is no truth. A time where the mercy of God is not accepted nor is the knowledge of His goodness respected. God says that the people have separated themselves by “swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery…” (cf. Hosea.4:2). In verse 6 the ancient prophet penned words of destruction due to the malady of the time, hear him, “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.”
It is the case that the people of Hosea’s day had refused to acquire and live by knowledge of the Word of God. They never thought of the penalty for their neglect in all likelihood. They were going along to get along and practicing the same sins as the people about them while God had commanded them to be separate or different from those nations around them, but this seems to have never entered their thought process. They wanted to be like the nations about them when they desired a king. God granted them their wish, but their desire led to great suffering and turmoil.
As Hosea writes God is rejecting His priests and His people. He even forgets their children. A calamity exists in the land that does not respect and know God. We are taught in the Scriptures that eternal life is to “know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). It is rather obvious that there is trouble in our land this day in the year of our Lord, 2015.
Unless we come to a knowledge of God, man will be lost. We remember a classic passage in Judges 2:10 that address situations like this. “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” The first generation out of Egyptian bondage perished in the wilderness.
The second generation is the one that Judges is addressing who were faithful. The third generation was lost because they did not know the Lord. They served Balaam while forsaking the Lord.
Are we talking about an antiquated condition? No! A thousand times NO! We are describing present day America. We are talking about a time when God is respected less and less. There is lying, swearing, killing, stealing, adultery and the list goes on and on. Filth and turmoil fill our news programs while the Bible is closed on the shelf and most of all closed to our hearts. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Knowledge alone will not save. It must be applied to the heart of man. The condition of our time is such that we had better WAKE UP, OPEN UP and READ UP if we want to GO UP to heaven some day. All one has to do is read the front page of the newspaper and we see Hosea all over again.