The prophet Hosea under inspiration wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).
Lack of knowledge
The specific knowledge that Hosea is speaking of is the knowledge of God. This knowledge is the most important of all knowledge. Sin is foolishness and those who participate in it show themselves not wise. Sin pays evil wages – pain, suffering and death. “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel18:4; Romans 6:23; ).
The people of Israel and Judah revealed their complete lack of “knowledge” by continuing in transgression and thus confirming their own ruin. This led to their captivity. The prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst” (Isaiah 5:13).
Though God may overlook certain forms of ignorance (Acts 17:30), He cannot overlook willful ignorance of spiritual things as in the case of Pharaoh (Exodus 4:21). This king’s persistence ignorance led to the overwhelming destruction of his people and nation. This destruction could have been easily avoided had he obeyed the Lord (Exodus 8:32).
People are responsible for what they know
The apostle James wrote, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Those who are “hearers” only and not “doers” prove that their religion is “vain” (James 1:23, 26). A corrupt faith proves its falseness when it avoids works that true faith would gladly do (James 2:17, 20, 26).
Also, people are responsible for what they could have known
In addition, people are held responsible not only for what they know (John 9:41; 15:22, 24) but also for what they could have known had they tried to search for it (2 Peter 3:5). There are many who fear that a further search for the truth will entail that a change in behavior may be asked of them, a change that their sinful hearts are not willing to make. And so they intentionally don’t search for the truth. Such deliberate ignorance God will not excuse (Romans 1:19-20).
God empowers people to walk in the light
We should not fear gaining knowledge because it is God who empowers us to follow it. For the Lord “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20). By our own strength, we are not able to obey God, but thorough Christ “we are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).
In His service,
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