Hosea had a concern about Israel in his day – and I have the same concern about the church today! Let’s look at Hosea 4.1:
Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
The problem that Hosea had was that people did not know God. The word for knowledge in this verse is “da’at”, pronounced “dah-ath”. It is used when you both know something and have the skill and wisdom to use that knowledge. A lot of people know facts about God, but do not have a deep walk with God, they cannot perceive when God is moving, they have no wisdom to know how to walk with God in a powerful way that moves mountains, builds faith and lets them walk in victory.
I meet a lot of Christians who know a lot of facts about God, but do not know Him deeply. They need to know Him better. Maybe you feel that you need to know God better yourself, have a deeper, more fruitful walk with Him, enjoying His favour and goodness more than you are today.
Well let’s find out what Hosea says is the cause of this lack of deep knowledge of God by keeping reading:
You make vows and break them;
you kill and steal and commit adultery.
Here Hosea gives four reasons why people do not know God. They are all lifestyle choices. You may not realize the way you live will either make it harder or easier to know God and see His grace and goodness, but it does. If you walk in darkness, it is very hard to see what God is like, but if you live in the light you will know Him, trust Him and see your life become fruitful and glorious.
Now, we could discuss broken vows, murder and adultery, but I think most of us realize that if we lie, kill people and sleep around, we affect our walk with God. God still loves us, but we make it nearly impossible for us to know Him. But also on this list is stealing. We know as well that not tithing is stealing! Think about that today – if you are not tithing, you are actively, by your actions sabotaging your own heart and damaging your ability to know God and His goodness, in exactly the same way a murderer or adulterer is!
If you are stealing from someone, even if they have forgiven you completely, you will not feel comfortable in their presence. Some of you do not feel comfortable in the presence of God because you are stealing from Him by not tithing and it makes you uncomfortable! That feeling makes it almost impossible to know God as He wants to be known by you, and it makes it hard to trust God and live by faith.
Make a change in your behaviour today by deciding to take 10% of all your increase and bring it to the Lord by giving it to your local church – and watch how deep your walk with the Lord becomes!