“Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,
for 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;
they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who dwell in it languish…
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
The more they increased,
the more they sinned against me;
I will change their glory into shame.
They feed on the sin of my people;
they are greedy for their iniquity.
And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.
They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the Lord
to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine,
which take away the understanding.
My people inquire of a piece of wood,
and their walking staff gives them oracles.
For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
and they have left their God to play the whore…
I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.”
“The spirit of whoredom is within them,
and they know not the Lord.” Hosea 4:1-3a,6-12,14c; 5:4
Judgment is pronounced on the nation for its slack and what that slack does back to their life choices. Like a slap in God’s face is the lack of godly behavior of His people. No steeping in His law, no glorious expression of its beauties. Slack in grappling and applying leads to sloppy living, loose filters, chasing after idols, mistreatment of others, and disordered affections. Overall, a lack of righteousness. Rejection of God and His ways portends His rejection in return.
The more we whore with the world and are influenced by godless opinions, caustic sound bites, and morally vacuous ‘expertise’, the less we will think like Jesus. The more profound our lack of knowledge, the looser our conscience and self-control. The closer we skirt toward boundaries of the profane, the more likely to push through them into riotous living- of the heart, or outward. Slack in spiritual discipline renders us unable to perceive the world with a biblical mindset and therefore impotent to interact with others and do business with pure godly intent and expression. (Matthew 22:29)
The only remedy is transformation: Worshiping God to fear God to gain wisdom and understanding. Girding up our loins with the knowledge of God, and getting to work to put truth to practice. Tightening up the slackness in our tether to the Lord. (Hosea 5:15; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:13)
Where do we evidence a lack of knowing the Lord’s character, or the tested vigor of spiritual life? What slack in attitude, willingness, or zeal need we confess? How will we hone life-altering knowledge of the Lord?
Father, keep me tight with You, pressing on to know You better so I can think and live fruitfully, reflecting Your light. (Hosea 6:3)