Knowing God Makes The Difference!

by | Feb 3, 2024 | Hosea | 1 comment

A casual reading through the prophets, like Hosea, could leave one with the impression that they are killjoys, being the epitome of pessimism gone rampant. “Poor players who strut and fret their hour upon the stage … idiots, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing” (Macbeth). Surely the priests saw them that way. The politicians (eg. king) only tolerated their presence, while the people mostly ignored their message. After all, who wants to hear words of judgement, especially if it conflicts with their epicurean lifestyle.

“Hear this, O priests! Take heed, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For yours is the judgement” (5:1)

The reason for such harsh words, the prophet would say, is that they simply “do not know the Lord” (5:5). They lived lives that were a contradiction to the faith that they confessed. Jesus put it this way: “They don’t practice what they teach” (Matthew 23:3).

“A person who pursues theology but does not read God’s word is spiritually sick.” (Helmut Thielicke)

The priests, who were to be the messengers of the Lord in Hosea’s day, were spiritually sick. Rather than keeping knowledge, they had departed from the Way, and by their teaching and example caused the people to stumble. They had lost their own way and led the people they served down the same blind path. “The blind leading the blind, and both falling into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

The same criteria in Hosea’s day is applicable to the day we live in. Do those who give spiritual leadership actually know God, or simply know about Him? Know implies more than mere knowledge. The word requires transformational change, a lifestyle that strives for consistency with the faith that one confesses. Secondly it requires that the leader pray consistently, to stand in the gap for others and intercede. “Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (I Kings 18:37). Thirdly, though put in the negative, the leader calls people “to direct their deeds by turning back to God” (5:4).

John Wesley said it best. “Give me one hundred who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen. Such alone will shake the gates of hell, and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.”


1 Comment

  1. Joyce Smith

    Sad but true even today. Are we supposed to judge others, or just make sure WE are doing God’s will? I guess that would be selfish. No one likes bad news or predictions so it is often ignored. So much to ponder here….


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