Chapter 4: 6
4:6 "... I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the
law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
This text considers the biblical meaning of knowledge.
Knowledge is generally defined as "a clear and certain perception of something." In the Old
Testament, knowledge and knowing God are synonymous. In most instances believers were
urged not to seek the rewards of knowing God until they knew him themselves. For example in
the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good
and evil. To have such knowledge available to them before the understood and knew the will and
nature of God was unwise. They wanted to bypass the slow and painstaking process of knowing
God and reached for the fruit and brought sin into sphere of human existence.
Knowledge of God is known because God makes himself known through his actions. Those that
have come to know him live in respect for him and in obedience to him. Psalm 25:14 says "The
secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant."
What a man knows, believes and accepts about God indicates his level of knowledge in the
biblical context. His secular training is considered inconsequential and incidental. Only what he
knows and has experienced about the nature of God is considered real knowledge. The quest is
that "knowledge of God" would reach every person on earth. Isaiah 11:9 says "..for the earth
shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD." The same theme is repeated in Jeremiah 31:34:
"They shall all know me, from the least to the greatest."
In the perception of the Old Testament, knowing God was to have a clear perception of his
nature, what he demands of each person, and what he can and will do.
In the New Testament, Jesus builds on this foundation adding that it is impossible to know God
unless you first know him. In John 8:19 he declares:"... Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye
had known me, ye should have known my Father also." To know Jesus is to have a clear
perception of what the Christian life is all about and to accept it as truth. To know Jesus is to
know God. To know God is to have knowledge.
Therefore this text in Hosea 4 makes its abundantly clear that for the lack of Knowledge of God
the people perish. It is assumed that once one knows God he will both trust him and fear him in
every aspect of life. Because they have no knowledge of him their destruction is imminent.
Return to Main Bible File