“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” (Hosea 4:6)
“They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord” (Hosea 5:4).
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3).
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).
“To me they cry, ‘My God, we—Israel—know you.’ For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; so I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour her strongholds” (Hosea 8:2, 14).
One frequent theme you will come across when reading the book of Hosea, is the importance of the knowledge of God. Of all the minor prophets, the knowledge of God is spoken of the most in Hosea. The knowledge of God is so important that people are destroyed and rejected for not having it. It’s more important than burnt offerings. The knowledge of God, as Jeremiah says and Paul quotes twice, is the one thing a man may boast in.
If this is true, the question then arrises, how important is the knowledge of God to you? Is it something you treasure above all else? Do you make a great effort in getting to know Him more? Do you just go through the motions of the Christian life, thinking that if you perform all the outward Christian acts, that’s pleasing to God? And is your knowledge of Him demonic (John 2:19) or intimate?
Reading through this book again made me ponder what has helped me know God the most. I’ve read many books on the attributes of God, many sections of systematic theologies and reformed dogmatics on His attributes as well. Yet as much as I love studying God’s attributes in a bunch of theological books, the number one thing that has truly made me know the Lord the most, is Old Testament narrative and prophetic literature.
There’s just something special about walking with God throughout history and seeing the way He deals with His people. You get to see the mind of God in such an intimate way. You see from His perspective, though not entirely because of the limitations of the human mind, how sinful man is. You get to see how good and gracious He is. You get to see how wise He is and how foolish we are and how we constantly fall to our own destruction by not following in that wisdom.
The sad part is, most Christians don’t know their Old Testament. Many who profess Christianity hate the Old Testament and view the God of the Old Testament as mean and harsh. Many only skim the Old Testament for cute little moral lessons every now and then and never go deep into it’s context. And the result is that many don’t know God. Many Christians also view intimacy with God as the fuzzy feelings they get in a fake manufactured environment where the lights and the music is manipulated to stir their emotions.
Instead, true closeness with the Lord comes through the word of God and prayer (that’s informed by the word of God). And in having that deep intimate knowledge you will be blessed abundantly. The chief blessing being the knowledge of God itself. And with that knowledge you get to walk in wisdom’s way on a path that leads to life everlasting. So as Hosea 6:3 says “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord”