Revival Follows The Honoring, Reading, and Obedience to the Word of God
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 ESV
These words are prophetic words given by the minor prophet Hosea. Hosea was called to a prophetic ministry in a time of rebellion described earlier in the chapter under the reign of the wicked king Jeroboam II. The people of Judah were described as faithless and without an enduring love in verse 1. Throughout the chapter, Judah’s culture is described as a land full of “… swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (verse 2). After reading this, one can’t help but think of how this describes our nation today.
Israel was chosen by God as a special people, chosen above all the nations of the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6). “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:4-5). God passed over every other mighty nation, full of all the world’s wisdom and military might, and chose a small nation to reveal Himself. It was to the Israelites, and them alone, whom God chose to reveal His ways. It’s important to note that God was not obligated to have this kind of mercy on any nation, but, in His love, He chose Israel.
Let’s fast forward about a century after the utterances of Hosea, to the reign of King Josiah. Please read the full account of Josiah’s reign and reformation in 2 Kings, chapters 22 and 23. To summarize, during the reign of Josiah, the law of the Lord was recovered after a century of the raging rebellion described above. After Josiah read the Book of the Law, likely the book of Deuteronomy or another book from the Torah, he tore his clothes in anguish and did away with the idolatrous practices. This was arguably the greatest reform done by any king in Israel. In fact, he was the first king who ordered Judah to keep the Passover described in the law since the time of Israel’s judges (at least 400 years).
Today, we find ourselves in a nation and culture very similar to ancient Israel. Our churches are being shuttered because of an epidemic of moral failures that comes from a disregard of God’s word and His law. We’ve been blessed with affordable and accessible bibles, as well as, arguably, the greatest Christian writings from people like Jonathan Edwards. God doesn’t owe America, or any nation the gift of having accessible bibles. Study the history of the middle ages, when having a Bible was unheard of, and to be found with one was a death sentence. Because God doesn’t owe us His mercy, and He is not a respecter of persons, we must take heed to the prophecy “since you have forgotten the law of the Lord your God, I will also forget your children.” Jesus said to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
I believe God is calling those who have reverence and adherence to His word to sound the alarm like Hosea did. God has blessed us with a church that exalts the Word of God above everything else. My prayer is that this letter would move us to gratitude for the blessing of our church, and we would be moved to pray for Redeemer Bible Church, other local churches, and our nation to remain standing on the Word of God; and if not, to repent and not take for granted what we’ve been given, lest it be taken from us and our children.