Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel,
for the Lord has a case
against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth, no faithful love,
and no knowledge of God in the land!
Cursing, lying, murder, stealing,
and adultery are rampant;
one act of bloodshed follows another.
For this reason the land mourns,
and everyone who lives in it languishes,
along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky;
even the fish of the sea disappear.
But let no one dispute; let no one argue,
for my case is against you priests.
You will stumble by day;
the prophet will also stumble with you by night.
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will reject you from serving as my priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I will also forget your sons.
Hosea 4 paints a very bleak picture of the situation in Israel. It has become a land of lawlessness. The people have given up on the ways of God and it has lead to an unending list of evil: cursing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery, and an unending string of acts of bloodshed. Yahweh makes it clear that the ultimate responsibility for this is in the hands of the priests and (false) prophets. The people’s lack of knowledge is the result of the priests’ lack of commitment to teaching the knowledge of God to the people.
There is a greater responsibility that those in leadership, especially those in church leadership, have for lawlessness in society. When those who are seen as leaders abandon pieces of the truth for the sake of political advantage and power, they abandon their responsibility to guide those they influence well. The people are still responsible for their own actions but those in leadership need to own up to the role they play when lawlessness takes over a society.
Even if we do not hold an official title of leadership, we can have a level of influence on those around us in how they perceive the truth of God. We should seek to use that influence well and help people gain a better knowledge of God as He fully is so that they can decide if they want to live according to His ways and truth.
- How have you used your influence to bring the knowledge of God to those around you?