My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:16
If people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, then may I ask, knowledge of what?
My knee jerk reaction is to think well the rest of the verse says, “…because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you form being My priest.” So I need to go to seminary, or I need to do more of those studies by those famous bible teachers, or I need to get some new bible software.
When I was in the seventh grade there was a girl that tried to call me “J,” I don’t like to be called J. Despite telling her that I didn’t like being referred to as J she still called me J. She also claimed that her and I were best friends, which we weren’t. If we really were best friends she would’ve known the nickname I actually enjoyed being called. Sure we had class together but she didn’t really know me. She could have asked some of my close friends about me, but that would have been second hand knowledge. She hadn’t taken the time to get to know me.
When I read Hosea 4:16 it makes me wonder if the knowledge that the Israelites lacked, was less about their scriptural knowledge and more about their relational knowledge of God.
Yes, it’s good to read and study the bible, but when our reason is to acquire intellectual knowledge, then we push ourselves that much farther away from the heart of God.
The Israelites were destroyed because of “lack of knowledge” yet God’s words were to be in their hearts (Deuteronomy 6:12). At what point did the knowledge of God’s word leave their heart and take up residence solely in their heads?
I used to be just like the Israelites, I knew scripture, I could fire off scripture at the drop of a hat, but my intellectual knowledge of God didn’t line up with who I had made God out to be. I let disappointments, hurts and a lack of experience paint my knowledge of God. For example, in theory I said God was a merciful and gracious father, but my actions showed that I believed I had to earn grace and mercy.
So why am I harping on getting to know God’s heart and nature rather than intellectual knowledge? Because intellectual knowledge of God is powerless. Relational knowledge is the source of love, hope, peace and joy in it’s fullest form. Relational knowledge is freedom from works and religion to receive restoration and life. Relational knowledge is knowing what your heavenly Father’s business is and doing it, rather than guessing what it is. Relational knowledge is knowing what your heavenly Father’s values are and aligning your values up with his.
So, what do you know?