“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” It is the responsibility of each person to know God. However, many need teaching and encouragement in order to accept that responsibility. The religious leaders of Israel had failed to properly provide the teaching necessary for the people to know and appreciate God for who He is and what He required from them.
Under the kings of Israel, the people were guilty of swearing, lying, killing, stealing and adultery. The ultimate sin of Israel was spiritual harlotry or adultery. They had left their “Husband” and were worshipping the idols of Baal. (Many who claim to be the bride/church of Christ today are committing spiritual adultery by following man-made rules instead of obeying the commands of Christ.) As Hosea warned Israel because of their failure to follow God, He also warned Judah that they should not allow the same sins of idolatry to corrupt them.