My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. . .

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou has 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

In Hosea chapter 4, verse 6 is one of the most quoted scripture verse. It has been used throughout generations as a warning against ignorance. No matter what kind of book you read today, some kind of knowledge is being withheld, only to be exploited at a later date in time. Let’s just say that ignorance is not always bliss as the poet Thomas Gray portrayed in his poem. Even a child must face certain circumstances that is not always pleasant such as having their favorite toy taken away because they did not listen to instruction. What can we learn about what it means to have a lack of knowledge as is stated in Hosea 4:6. How can a lack of knowledge destroy people? I learned that knowledge in this verse means to be able to discern and the Hebrew word is da’at, which is taken from the Hebrew letter dalet, and comes from the Hebrew word “delet,” which means open door. Now we can understand that knowledge is an open door to discern something new, recognize, or notice something we have not known before.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

We read in Proverbs chapter one, verse 7, that to fear the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It is where knowledge begins because a door is open to a room where one can see something new. Fools despise this kind of wisdom and instruction. The meaning of “fools in this verse is those who are arrogant and live their life without God taking no thought to their eternal well-being. They work for money and live to be happy by what they have possessed. They are proud to be self-sufficient. This attitude is opposite from what the Bible is portraying. Our sufficiency is from God [see 2 Corinthians 3:5]. It is God who can perform supernatural power and to create and give what man needs. Can we believe that He is our provider? Can we be faithful and trust God for all our needs? The fear of the Lord means to have complete reverence and honor to God, for He is merciful and full of love and grace. If you want tranquility in your life, you must have the knowledge of God to know the purpose of man.

Knowing the purpose of man is the beginning of knowing who you are. Let us look at Hosea which means “the Lord saves.” Hosea prophecy is all about unfaithfulness. This is depicted through Hosea’s wife who was a harlot. She went back to her own way of life, but Hosea brought her back with a price. God is telling Hosea about the people willful ignorance to go their own way and eat of harlotry and wine [see Hosea 4:11]. Harlotry means illicit sex and commerce for gain. Harlotry is a spirit among those who have departed from God. Harlotry is an intense desire towards deceit and betrayal for power and gain. They deny knowledge of the truth as revealed in the word of God and have departed from faith in God to faith in something else. It is going back to a former way of life and this is called backsliding.

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him.

Hosea 14:4

The word backsliding in Hosea 14:4 means to turn back or away. God is calling for a people who have obtained mercy. Mercy is God’s loving kindness towards man. God is calling people to return to Him and be healed. There is forgiveness with God through the cross of Christ. Forgiveness from all sins no matter what a person has done in life. He hath delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son [see Colossians 1;14]. This is something to rejoice in, our redemption through the blood of Christ. Restoration is on its way towards all people who confess their faults. “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit,”[Psalms 51:12] David cried out. May God give us understanding in all things. Help us Lord to remember that “the merciful man doeth good to his own soul, but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh,” [Proverbs 11:16].  Help us God to be a faithful people unto the glory of your Son.  Help us Lord God to be a chosen generation, a people of God who has obtained mercy [1 Peter 2:9-10].