The Lord said in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your sons, even I.”
God rejected His chosen ones from being priests, because they had not studied or kept His word and had become ignorant of His laws, His guidance for His people. (Note that in many cases the Old Testament “laws” can be translated “guidance” and therefore are totally relevant for Christians today.)
We are in much the same position today in respect of a lack of knowledge of the Lord’s Word – His Holy Bible. Many Christians are in self delusion, that because they have quoted the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ they are saved and nothing more is required of them. They forget, or never knew, or were never taught such verses as Second Corinthians 13:5 “Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. Don’t you realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Of course, if you fail the test, he is not in you.” This is reinforced in First John 2:3-5 “If we obey what God has told us to do, then we are sure that we know him. If we say we know God but do not obey his commands, we are lying. The truth is not in us. But when we obey God’s teaching, his love is truly working in us. This is how we know that we are living in him.” Yes, they and we forget to test ourselves regularly to see if the “the truth is in us.”
In Romans 11:25 Paul also tells us how important it is to be knowledgeable “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers…..” In other words, he is saying “I do not want you to be ignorant.” In this verse Paul was talking about the power of unforgiveness and how the enemy can use unforgiveness to overcome us. He also used the same word in First Corinthians 12:1 where he said “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.” Paul links ignorance to disobedience or rebellion, though much of our ignorance is unintentional. Either way, in the long term, it will tend to separate us from God and harden out hearts towards Him, keeping us out of His current ideas and words.
The Lord’s Word, the Holy Bible is widely available to practically all persons in the world and is greatly owned. However, it also seems to be greatly under read and under studied. Most Christians in this world have no reasons and certainly no excuses, for being Bible illiterate; yet the words of Hosea 4:6 still ring true for us today.
There are three distinct types of “lack of knowledge” into which we typically fall:
1) Indolence: means a disliking work or effort; lazy; idle; lethargic, slothful. It is the opposite of the fruit of the spirit and it is a sign that you are no longer walking with God, but on your own path. It is a manifestation of the spirit of procrastination and apathy and stops ones advance in one’s relationship with the Lord. It means we just cannot be bothered to read or study the
Word as we are required; it means the world of the flesh has dominion over our lives and we are living for today, not eternity.
2) Enthusiasm: means eagerness; warmth; fervour; zeal; ardour; passion; devotion. While this appears on the outset to be a blessing, it is quite the opposite. Fanaticism or overzealous enthusiasm can lead to a spirit of pride, complacency or passivity, in that we become unteachable because we know it all. We then become stuck where we are, or were, unable to accept more of that which the Lord wishes for us. We have put God into a box and closed the lid, puffing ourselves with pride that we know all, and disallowing God to do more in our lives. But puffing ourselves up with knowledge leads eventually to a fall. As Job 32:13 warns us, “Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not a man.’” We need to recognise that we are lifelong learners and that working out our salvation is a lifelong task.
3) Separation: means a division; a distance apart; a disjointing; a split. This is the most dangerous of all the three types of lacks of knowledge for it means a separation from the Lord. You are not hearing from Him and are in the spiritual darkness, a place of non-illumination from the light of the Word of God. It is a place where you rarely hear from the Lord, for in your disobedience the Lord has stopped communicating with you on a daily basis. It is a season of silence from the Lord, from day-to-day, week-to-week and perhaps year-to-year. Proverbs 29:18 warns us that “where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” When we cast of restraint we fall dangerously into the hands of the enemy, for First Peter 5:8 warns us to “be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour.”
I pray for all those reading this post. I pray that they are not being destroyed for a lack of knowledge, but that Your mighty right hand will protect them and save them. I pray that You will deliver those who have become delinquent and bring them back to the path You wish them to walk that and that Your destiny for their lives will be fulfilled. You are a God of second chances, yeah, even third and fourth chances; so I pray Your mercy and grace upon them that they may not be lost, but come into a close meaningful relationship with You now.
I pray this in the almighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.