Hosea 4:6, 14 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
A people without understanding will come to ruin!”
I am reminded of a famous legal statement: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Breaking God’s moral laws has consequences, just as much as trying to break the laws of physics. Ignoring the law of gravity and walking off a cliff will get you killed, whether or not you understand physics at all. This chapter as a whole is accusing the priests, who were responsible for teaching God’s law to the people but hadn’t done so. Frankly, I am reminded of the US today. Over half of even Christian men view pornography regularly, and it is starting at such a young age that people think the things they see in porn are normative, rather than often horrible aberrations. The Information Age is a curse rather than a blessing when the “information” people are getting is lying junk. (Of course that applies to more than sexuality, but that is the context of this chapter.) Pastors are responsible to educate their flocks in the truth, but a sad percentage of even pastors are mired in porn. The devil puts out the lie that it is a “victimless crime,” when nothing could be further from the truth. Paul said that immorality is sinning against your own body, as well as against God and whoever else is involved. (1 Corinthians 6:18) Pastors need to be willing to go against the tide and stand for the truth, in their own life and family as well as in their flock. How else will society be saved from the lies of the devil?
This of course applies to me as much as it does to any other pastor. I have had my own struggles in this area, and know that God is able to give victory. I’m not to dwell on this issue from the pulpit, but I’m not to avoid it either, and I’m to be completely frank in private conversations. Just yesterday I was counseling someone over the telephone in this area. I’m grateful that he called me, to get advice and support. Such a person does not remain ignorant, and so avoids destruction. I am not to condemn those who stumble and even fall, but rather share the good news of repentance and forgiveness, just as I did over the phone yesterday. God’s grace is sufficient for us all, if we will receive it. That is good news indeed!
Father, thank You that Your Word is so clear. We tend to avoid passages like this out of embarrassment, but that is playing into the hand of the devil. Help me speak Your truth in Your love all the time, letting Your Spirit guide me as to what to say when to whom, so that the lies of the devil may be exposed and Your people set free, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!