Most who have experienced any sort of education did so in the context of studying a particular subject. A classroom setting has been one of the most common forms of education in a public setting. Students gather to receive instruction from their professor or teacher in order to be educated about a specific topic. Surrounding the topics are various exercises that each student must complete in order to rehearse and ultimately prove their level of ascertaining the material. Once such exercises are complete, students are usually tested in order to ensure that they have retained the material.
Such tests are given grades and are used as a measuring tool to examine a student’s aptitude in a subject. If the student does well throughout his/her course, then they will be rewarded with a passing grade. If not, then the student will suffer a failure of the course and will not be permitted to move to the next level of learning. However, the most important aspect for every student who encounters an assignment or a lesson plan is that of their study. For a student to be successful there must be a regimen which involves either self-study or corporate study with other students. Without a measured amount of study, there will be a loss of information which results in a failed attempt to obtain knowledge and succeed in the course.
Spiritually speaking it is important for all who desire to seek the righteousness of God and His ways to study God’s Word. Whether it be studying on your own time or doing so in a corporate setting, the education of God’s Word is invaluable to the life of every believer. In the book of Hosea chapter 4, the account of the prophet Hosea who is speaking to the people of Israel is recorded. Throughout this chapter, Hosea like other prophets in the Old Testament is seen giving words of judgment and rebuke against those who are in sin.
Verses 1-3 state the following:
(NLV) “Listen to the Word of the Lord, O people of Israel, because He has something against the people of the land. “They are not faithful or kind, and no one in the land knows God. There is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and sex sins. They are always hurting others, and there is one killing after another. The land is filled with sorrow. Everyone who lives on it wastes away, together with the animals of the field and the birds of the sky. Even the fish of the sea are taken away.”
In these 3 verses, Hosea is telling the people of Israel what God has given him to say. These were words of rebuke and it was a direct testament to the reality of sin that was occurring among the nation of Israel at that time. If you look at what Hosea says, you can see a parallel between what happened then and what is happening in our world today. The fact is, there has been an abundance of sin that has swept through our world.
Just by looking at your local, national, and international news networks you can see the same if not worsened acts of sin that Hosea names in this chapter. It is because of humanity’s sinfulness that our global society is in the condition that we see.
In verses 4-5, God speaks through Hosea when he mentions the fact that both the Priests and the people of Israel will fall or as other translations such as The Message Bible uses the word ‘stumble.’ The reason why both sides stumble is because they have essentially turned their back on God to revert to sinful lifestyles. However, an additional reason is because both the Priests and the people of Israel have forsaken the knowledge of God.
(NLV) “My people are destroyed because they have not learned. You were not willing to learn. So I am not willing to have you be My religious leader. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
God says through Hosea that His people (meaning those of Israel and the Priests) are in the condition of being destroyed because they have not learned. The New King James Version translation says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The prognosis of those in Israel along with the Priests was that they were in danger of being utterly destroyed because they lacked knowledge. What was it that they lacked knowledge of? If you read further in verse 6 you will see that God says that they along with the Priests had forgotten the Law of God.
Basically, the Law or Laws of God are the unchanging principles and commands that God has set into place. The people of Israel as a whole had abandoned the study and adherence to God’s Word. In addition, the Priests who were called by God to teach the people had forsaken His Word as well. As a result, the Priests were no longer chosen to be representatives of God in the capacity of being Priests.
In looking at this scripture there are a few things we should take note of:
1. We must know the truth of God through His Word – The Bible contains both the Old Testament and the New Testament but both books are relevant with commands and principles for every generation. One reason why there is so much chaos and sin in our world is because there is a lack of knowledge concerning God’s Word. Especially as it relates to many churches and those in the body of Christ, there has been a watering down of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The fact is that everything that has been prophesied to occur throughout scripture concerning the End Times is coming to pass. The answers to the questions that those in sin are asking such as, ‘What is happening in our world?’ can be found in God’s Word. However, because there is a deviation from God’s knowledge and obedience unto His principles, humanity perishes because of a lack of learning. We who are called must know God’s Word and understand that it is absolute truth.
2. There is a penalty for turning away from God and His precepts – The fact is that blatant sinfulness will always have a penalty. The notion that one can continue in sin (whether Christian or non-Christian) without a consequence is completely debunked when the light that God’s Word provides is shed on the very thought. The Word of God and truly knowing it will convict you and it will provide a clear path to every problem or question you will have.
The body of Christ today has shown many examples of church leaders who either do not know God’s Word or have excluded certain parts of it in order maintain their church membership. However, whenever you and I forsake God’s Word and obedience unto Him then there is a price to pay. Israel during the time of Hosea paid a price for their disobedience and not knowing God’s Word.
3. The truth of God cannot be changed – If you look further through the book of Hosea, chapters 9 and 13 show that Israel is judged for its blatant sinfulness. In fact throughout the Bible there were prophecies of judgment against any nation that sinned and turned away from God. Each prophecy turned out to be true with swift judgment falling on any ungodly nation. The fact is, God’s word will always be true.
Despite what society claims to be true, moral, and acceptable, it is not the ultimate authority. What our world politicians have established and the media has stated as relative truth cannot stand against God’s absolute truth. Relativism is essentially the way of life as we know it today. It basically means that one can have their own version of the truth rather than abiding by moral and even spiritual absolutes. God’s Word will always trump what humanity attempts to change as a new and appropriate version of the truth. Regardless of how much the world changes, God’s Word will never change.
For all of us who desire to be in Christ, it is paramount that you and I take the time to study God’s Word and seek the revelation of it from the Holy Spirit. In today’s time, it is necessary more than ever that we hide God’s Word in our hearts. Satan distorts the truth and many believe his falsehoods. However, only those who stand firm in God’s Word and take it as the truth will be saved.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord & Savior? If not, you are currently under the deception of satan. The lies that he has fed you are embedded in your heart. However, accepting Jesus Christ and learning God’s Word will wash away the sin and the confusion. Take the time today and accept the gift of life that Christ offers.