“Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear. Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, and the prophet also will stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hos.4:1-6)
Such words, spoken to a nation that was brought into existence by Divine intention to be shaped into a people who would become a conduit through which the blessing of God would flow to all nations of the earth, are a serious indictment. Though the context of this statement is unique on many levels, the principle applies to any person or people who have, directly or indirectly, “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away” (He.6:5-6). We live in such a nation.
Moral decline and lack of knowledge leads to the destruction of a people. There should be a heightened alert to impending destruction when people do not care that they characterize such moral decline and lack of knowledge. We live in such a nation.
When the “centers” of knowledge (colleges and universities) and of moral truth (churches) produce low-level results, prepare for destruction. When the agenda of such “centers” becomes a peripheral social program designed to declare, “Peace, peace,” when there is not peace, instead of equipping the citizens with the tools to produce a constructive, stabilizing approach toward life, prepare for destruction.
We should be able to see the signs of such destruction all around us. Many refuse to see. Some see but seek a solution from sources, though instrumental when playing their role accordingly, that, often, have been contributors to the problem. What does that mean? Colleges, churches and political activity play an important role in producing a healthy, stable, productive nation. However, they can only produce such beneficial results if they, themselves, operate in a proper “knowledge of God.” Such institutions and activities bloated with the arrogance self-importance will only contribute further to our demise, the institutional church included.
The most important step we can take as a people is to humble ourselves before God in a genuine manner. Rebellion, arrogance, lip service, superficial religious displays as a political ploy, entertaining ourselves to death (in and out of church) and shallow “it is what it is, God’s in control” theology will kill us. Such lethargy and deception is difficult to shake off, but now is the time to seriously, seek, ask and knock. As we cry out in desperate humility, praying, seeking God and turning from our wicked ways, we hope and trust that He will hear, forgive and heal this land.