Knowing God

Knowing God

Have you ever had God speak to you about a scripture that you’ve heard countless times in a way that makes you see it completely differently? That happened to me recently with the verse in Hosea 4:6 when God said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” I’ve heard that verse many times and never thought too much about it, to be honest. However, as I looked deeper into it this week, I found a couple of other Scriptures in Hosea that shed some light on what God meant when He said that.

Hosea 2:20 says,
“I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

Hosea 4:1 says,
“Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel,
for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
and no knowledge of God in the land.”

These verses together with Hosea 4:6 show that the knowledge that people will perish for lacking isn’t just any knowledge and it’s not even knowledge about God; it’s knowledge of Him. See, there is a huge difference between knowing about God and knowing Him.

The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ time knew everything there was to know about the Scripture and the law. They prided themselves on being the experts on God, but when they were face to face with the embodied Word of God, the very One they’d been waiting for, they didn’t recognize Him. They knew so much, without knowing anything that really mattered. Paul, who wrote the majority of the new testament, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was a scholar and a teacher, full of knowledge about God, but completely bereft of knowledge of Him. When Jesus Himself met Paul on the road to Damascus in a blinding encounter, Paul said, “Who are you, Lord?” He didn’t know Him. However, it was this same Jesus about whom Paul would later say, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corin. 2:2) and “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8). Paul laid down every bit of intellectual knowledge he had, all he had ever known, to know Jesus and Him crucified. There is no greater joy than knowing Jesus!

Paul prayed for the church in Ephesians along these lines, asking that they would grow in “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:15-17). His prayer wasn’t complicated, and it wasn’t based on their needs. He prayed that they would grow in the knowledge of God. That is the desire of God’s heart. He established His Word as an anchor and a guide. It’s through the Word of God that our eyes are enlightened. It’s through His Word, which always proves true, that He reveals Himself to us. However, our knowledge can’t stop in our heads. Jeremiah 9:24 says, “let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” God wants us to know Him, from the least to the greatest. Jesus died on a cross so that we could come boldly to the throne of grace and cry “Abba, Father” to the One who spoke the universe in existence. He wants to know us and He wants us to know Him. So, I encourage you today to pray as Paul did, that He would give us “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Let the cry of our hearts be to know Him like we’ve never known Him before, because there is truly nothing worth more!