I currently live in a country in which HIV is a sore reality. The virus is rampant and predictions are that within the next 10 years we will lose about 50% of our work force. There are now countless kids, ranging from an infant age to their late teens, that live an abandoned life on the roads: these kids are children from parents that died of the effects of this disease. To make matters worse, they themselves are infected and await certain death, whether by crime, starvation or by TB.
This is Africa, friends! Satan is having a ball around here. The results of the fall of mankind is devastating.
As much as must be said about this, it is not the topic for this entry. My consideration is for my home country, Germany. It’s a beautiful place, isn’t it? Secure, rich and in comfort my people benefit from the results of God’s blessings on their forefathers (i.e. the Reformers, the Moravians – Herrenhuter, etc).
So what has the viral genocide in Africa to do with Germany? As the title would have alerted you already, the parallel exists between the physical disease here and the spiritual disease there. In Africa the people die because of the effects of this infection, in Germany they die because of the effects of post modernism.
The book of Hosea is the proverbial Jack Russel jumping wildly up and down to get attention. In Hosea’s time Israel (the northern kingdom) prospered and forgot where the blessing all came from in the first place. Enters stage: Hosea. Well, Israel did not listen to God’s warning through His prophet and about 18 years later the whole glorious kingdom was dispersed, strewn across the Assyrian provinces, never to return again.
God is not kidding when He, through the writing of Paul, says “do not be deceived: I am not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Gal 6:7 paraphrased) In fact, he had warned His people for generations. Yet, they would rather worship the Baals in sexual ecstasy, holding feasts.
And what is God saying about it? Does He just turn His back or, like a senile old man, just simply forgets their blatant rebellion? No! He condems them for their unbelief and warns them of coming judgment. But more than that, He shows His fatherly love for them when He rebukes the spiritual leaders of the age:
“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.” (Hos 4:6)
What knowledge is He talking about here? It is the knowledge of God Himself. It is not mere intellectual descent, it is the language of marriage, the intimate ‘knowing’ of the husband and wife. It is about the relationship with the true and living God.
And that knowledge is gone. Forgotten. In fact, nobody ever forgets anything, there is a point when you consciously choose to ignore. That is what Israel did, that is what the Germans are doing currently (make no mistake, there is no country in this world that is exempt; there is only a body of people: the true church of Jesus Christ – though much work needs to be done there too). And so I cry with God:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”!
Tune in for part 2 next week “Meet the virus”.