When the knowledge of God is rejected and there is no understanding, people turn to other things or people to gain wisdom and guidance. Often times that other thing is something silly, foolish, and crazy. This was true of ancient Israel. She rejected the true and living God for measly pieces of wood.
Corrupt spiritual leaders. Rampant idolatry. A divine controversy. It appears that Israel was not in a good place. She had been unfaithful to her God and fickle in her love. However, the crux of the issue, the central theme around which God’s controversy and Hosea 4 is built upon, and the reason for God’s contention with the priesthood was the lack of spiritual knowledge and understanding among the general populace. We touched on this topic briefly last week when analyzing God’s controversy with Israel, but it’s time to revisit and focus solely on this fundamental subject.
At the center of God’s controversy and accusation against Israel was His dispute with the priests. They were the ones entrusted with the spiritual welfare of Israel and were the ones God held responsible for the current moral slide.
As we dive into chapter four, we find a sudden shift in the focus of the message. No longer centered on Hosea and Gomer’s side of the story, from chapter four on, the rest of this book is entirely devoted to God’s relationship with Israel, His love for that wayward people, and the controversy He had with them.