Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
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.
Because God’s people have forgotten or ignored their knowledge of Him, they are going to falter in the daytime–broad daylight; and their faltering will become even worse in the darkness of night. They will lose their way completely, stumbling and bruising themselves in their ignorance. Even the prophet will be affected by their lack of the knowledge of God, and will lose his own way in the darkness of ignorance.
That last statement made me stop and consider. We are blessed to be in a church in which our “prophet,” the pastor, continues to preach and teach the knowledge of God. But we need to pray for him, because he is only human and is therefore susceptible to faltering as he endeavors to lead people in paths of righteousness. Don’t forget to pray for your pastors. They need our prayer support desperately as evil becomes more and more prevalent in this world.
God says that His people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. How often, over my lifetime, I have heard people complain that doctrine is boring, and they just want to hear about the love of God, the miracles of Jesus, the happy things in the Bible. That is sad, because it shows the great ignorance of God’s people today, just as they were ignorant in Hosea’s day. They had some knowledge of God, but it was not enough. Someone has said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It’s a point well made, because when we have only a little knowledge, we don’t have the whole picture.
Yes, the love of God is an important doctrine for us to know. But before we can understand His love, we must understand His holiness. Holiness is His primary attribute, and all other attributes are set in the matrix of His complete holiness. That is why, when Jesus became sin for us on the cross, God had to turn His face away. His holiness cannot even look on sin!
Hosea was preaching to people who had turned to the pagan idol worship of the world around them, completely forgetting how offensive their behavior was to Jehovah, the God of Israel. Because even the priests had turned from true worship of God, God would “forget” their children.
It was an important part of the duties of the priests to teach the Word of God to the people, and especially to the children ( Deuteronomy 33:10; Ezekiel 44:23; Malachi 2:7). As the priests failed with generations of children, those children turned away from the God of Israel and to the gods of the nations around them, and they lost their way. The little knowledge they had was useless to them. It was not enough.
One of the reasons we are seeing so many young people turn away from the Lord in our own day is that we have not grounded them in the Word. Or those who have been responsible to teach the Bible have done it in a dull, dry, passionless way that holds no interest for the students, and leaves them looking for something better. Sadly, what they find is often far worse than what they had before.