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. Hosea 4:6
Israel traded the glory and grace of God for the shame and disgrace of the world. They didn’t know God. Their lack of knowing God resulted in their destruction. They should have known better. Hosea’s own life was an object lesson in the deep love of God for His people.
In Hosea 1:2, God gave Hosea a strange command: Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord. Hosea, God’s prophet, married a prostitute. They had three children together. Then she left him for another man.
Then Hosea did the unthinkable. He showed up in the red light district and found his wife, Gomer, selling her body. He stepped into the fray of lust-filled men and bid on his own wife. In his words: “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” I wonder how she felt. The embarrassment. The shame. What was the look on her face when she looked over the men who wanted her and saw her own husband? And he wasn’t any husband…he was the prophet to the king of Israel!
Then he said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” (3:3) In other words, Gomer, you’re coming home! I want you to be mine. There’s no mention that he asked her who she had been with, what she had one, or where she had gone. He bought her back.
Then, in chapter 4, God calls Israel out for her ignorance. Israel was ignorant of a God who would stand among the lust-filled suitors of the day and bid the highest price on his bride. Israel was ignorant of a God who would embarrass himself by condescending to her and bringing her home.
And today most of the world is dying from ignorance: ignorance of a God who became a human being, was tempted in every way like we are–yet without sin–and was ultimately made sin for us that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Ignorance is killing people.
They can’t imagine a God who would mingle among the mess of their lives and take them home to live with Him.
He did and He does. That’s the message of Christmas. God became a human being, the Creator walked among the created.
Do you know Him?