Old Testament passage for Friday, December 6, 2013: Hosea 4:1-5:15
1 Hear the word of the Lord, you children of Israel, for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land will mourn; and everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea will be taken away. 4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day; the prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; and I will destroy your mother. 6 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 4:1-6 (NKJV)
We are in the middle of a phenomenon that has been called "The Information Explosion". Daniel prophesied that toward the end of time, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Dan.12:4). Considering the pace of life, the stress level, and the advent of the internet, these words are abundantly fulfilled in our day.
Yet, Hosea declares that knowledge is lacking. In fact, it is REJECTED. God's people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
The immediate interpretation of Hosea is simple: people don't know the Bible enough. Because we are biblically illiterate, we are being "destroyed." I believe this is true, but I also think there's more.
The knowledge to which Hosea refers is "the knowledge of God" (4:1) and "the law of your God" (4:6). There is certainly a call for us to study and know our Bibles more fully. Here's a quick quiz: can you recite the 10 Commandments right now without looking them up? And do it in order? I could go much further on Bible knowledge, but I think you get my point.
But, this lack of knowledge goes further than memorization of biblical truth (important though that is). We are inundated today with a philosophy called post-modernism. This twist in our culture has pulled the rug out from under us. I will try briefly to explain.
Post-modernism says that everything is relative. Modernism, by contrast, was based on the the old idea of the scientific method. 2+2=4. Set up a closed experiment, test it out, and you have tangible proof of FACTS. The explosion of information has produced a remarkable cynicism concerning the scientific method. FACTS of yesterday have become the fallacies of today. As a result, no one can claim truth anymore. Our encyclopedias are being re-written. All "truth" becomes personal. There are no absolutes.
In 1970, Alvin Toffler wrote his seminal book Future Shock. There he said, “Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.”
Toffler predicted that millions of ordinary, psychologically normal people would face "a collision with the future." The exponential rate of change has produced a "brave, new world." The world into which I was born has ceased to exist. And the change is not slowing down. Computers will continue to fuel this explosion. It is predicted that by 2049, a $1,000 computer will have knowledge capabilities exceeding the entire spectrum human history.
The lack of knowledge to which Hosea referred was more than knowing chapter and verse of Scripture. It goes deeper.
We affirm that TRUTH IS POSSIBLE. There are absolutes. There is a difference between right and wrong. We certainly do not have all of the truth, but that which we have is correct and dependable. This is the foundation upon which we stand. It is the rock of Truth.