Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, 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.”
Rejecting the knowledge of God is serious business. The physical nation of Israel was being destroyed for lack of knowledge. The blame is typically laid at the feet of the people themselves. It would be easy to simply blame the people for this problem. Yet, notice that God does not blame the congregation of Israel for this rejection. He blames the priesthood. He blames the ministry.
It is easy to throw off on congregations for lack of spirituality and lukewarm behavior. True enough, some congregations even reject proper teaching when it is given them. With that said, God designed congregations to be led. God’s children are called sheep. Sheep scatter when they are without a shepherd. Even with a shepherd, the sheep can find themselves in grave danger if the shepherd is not watchful.
God holds his ministry to a high standard. This is why God addressed the ministers (angels) of the seven churches of Asia in Revelation. The ministry was going to be held accountable for dispensing the knowledge of God to those churches. This standard is further illustrated through God’s word to Ezekiel:
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul (Ezekiel 3:17-19).
Any disastrous outcome among the people brought about from the lack of teaching is charged to the ministry. Ultimately, the people are accountable for their actions. Every person is accountable to God for disobedience. Yet, God holds the ministry to an even higher standard for those under their watch care.
The two outcomes from not teaching is a divine rejection of the ministry and a loss of fellowship with God among the people. The ministry is said to be rejected and lose their heavenly credentials. The people themselves suffer as they forget the laws of God and no longer walk in a more full fellowship with their Savior.
Biblical teaching is often an overlooked and underappreciated aspect of Christian discipleship. As Sunday approaches I am reminded of the seriousness of the task before me. I am not to simply give motivational words of encouragement. I am not to go with a storehouse of personal stories to entertain the listeners. Not that either of those things are wrong or that they cannot be utilized during a message. But my sobering charge from God is to preach the full counsel of God. Preaching this full counsel is fearful. Sometimes the message will not be what people wish to hear. There are times that people sinfully yawn at grace. Likewise, there are times that people get enraged by the light of the gospel illuminating sinful behavior. Whether it is the doctrine’s of God or practical godliness, the full counsel of God must be presented from the foundation of the Bible itself. Without such knowledge, the people perish.
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”John 21:15-17
Article originally posted on PBPerspective.com, August 2017