Lack Of Knowledge
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea means salvation or deliverance)
Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel (Time frame 755 BC-715 BC).
God, speaking through Hosea, said His people were destroyed through lack of knowledge (of His law) which they had rejected and the priests had forgotten. Does that sound like today, instead of like 715 BC?
Why were they, and why are we, so susceptible to destruction? Another prophet of old, (626-586 BC), gives the answer: Jeremiah 15:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
So, to counteract the deceitfulness and wickedness of our fallen natures, we need to follow the example of Jeremiah in chapter15, verse 16, of his prophecy: Your words were found, and I ate (devoured) them, and Your word* was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (*Probably Genesis thru 1 Samuel, Job?, Part of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Joel?, Amos?, Jonah?, and of course, none of the New Testament). Most of this that was the joy and rejoicing of Jeremiah’s heart, is virtually unknown to most Christians today-Alas!
It is now about 2700 years after Hosea made his declaration. The rest of the Old Testament that Hosea didn’t have has now been around for 2463 years, and all of the New Testament for about 1918 years, all of it tested and true!
How much more should God’s word be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts, those of us who are called by God’s name, as we “find it and eat it?”
But how is it today? God’s people are being destroyed by lack of knowledge of (and obedience to) God’s word. The secular world is beginning to refer to our times as post-Christian, Alas! And how sad.
Christianity has always been locked in a war with Satan and his host of demons, which has now intensified into a terrible conflict where:
• Satan still poses as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), remaining hidden while he deceives and lies;
• But is now in such a rage that he is blatantly and openly attacking God and His people.
Paul addresses this in Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Notice the direct relationship between the items of armor and God’s word:
• Truth-John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth;
• Shield of Faith-Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God;
• Sword of the Spirit-which is the word of God (contained in the Ephesians text above).
The other items of armor, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation and praying, are all indirectly dependent upon the word of God for their definition and application.
So then, what do we do to make sure we will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil?
• Find the word, as Jeremiah did;
• Eat the word, as Jeremiah did;
• Memorize the word-Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You;
• Take heed to the word-Psalm 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word;
• Be guided by the word-Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path;
• Study the word-2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (King James version);
• Meditate on the word-1 Tim. 4:13-15 Till I come, give attention to reading (the word of God), to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all;
• Share the word-1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Are there any shortcuts in reading the Bible? A Christian ought to read the Bible in its entirety some time in the first years of being a Christian, just to know what all is there. In re-reading the Bible one can skip most genealogies, long lists of individuals selected for duties God has assigned and long repetitions .This will lighten up the reading of certain books of the Bible considerably.
It is OK to switch reading between the Old and New Testaments, but, especially in the Old Testament, it is good to read the books in chronological order so as to get an ever greater knowledge of what fits where.