Daily Readings and Thought for November 7th. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”
We have finished reading Daniel and for the rest of the year we will read the 12 remaining books in the Old Testament that are referred to as the “Minor Prophets.” They are smaller in size, but their messages are powerful, all have much to say that is very appropriate for us to read and think about in the kind of world we now live in. Currently we are reading Hosea who lived while there were still separate kingdoms in the north and south. Most of the time the people were not serving God; instead they were pursuing fleshly activities and these dominated their lives. The idols of the surrounding nations encouraged such living, so they worshipped them. Today many “worship” fleshly activities and follow human idols.
God used Hosea to send stern messages to them, such as, “the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing and committing adultery” [Ch.4 v.1,2] He continues, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge … I will change their glory into shame … because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish whoredom (immoral sexual behaviour), wine and new wine which take away understanding” [v.6,7,10]
But in Ch. 3 God gave him a remarkable prophecy. “The children (children means the people, they were God’s children) of Israel shall dwell many days without a king or prince, without sacrifice … afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king, and they shall fear (be in awe of) the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” [v.4,5] The last part of that message would put joy into the prophet’s heart.
The latter days are surely just about here! The people of Israel are back in their land but are yet to have a king, a temple and offer sacrifice. God reveals the end long before it happens. Will we be part of that “end”? Or are we simply going to live as Israel did in Hosea’s time? There is no neutral position, if we wish to be God’s children we have to think and act that way. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” [Matthew 12 v.30]