“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me.” (Hosea 4:6a ESV)
The Lord points to a direct connection between the moral, social, and physical condition of the people and the lack of instruction in the Word of God.
The blame for this sad state of affairs – seen in the earlier verses of Ch.4- is placed formerly on the shoulders of the priests who have not just chosen to ignore knowledge of God but have gone so far as to “reject knowledge”. A person might wonder “In favour of what?” It is said that nature abhors a vacuum so some other kind of teaching must have taken over the teaching from the priests – that of pagan religions.
The judgement is very clear those who hold positions of responsibility before God will be judged by God.
If there are those in positions of leadership who hold that Scripture need not form the foundation of teaching and ministry – in the light of what the Lord spoke through Hosea- what is their view of the holiness and judgement of God? Or, even whether he even cares what is preached and taught.
Does God no longer care what the priests teach, or do not teach? Is God no longer capable of judgement upon those who abdicate their responsibility as priests of the Lord?
A glance at the earlier verses gives us an illustration of what befalls a society and nation when others fail to live up to their calling. After all, how are the people supposed to hear if no-one tells them? To expect that they will learn of their own volition is something akin to delusional!
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish,
and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away. (Hosea 4: 1b-3 ESV)
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, 3 and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 … 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. (Ezekiel 33:2-7 ESV)
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV)
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. (1 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV):