Hos 4:6-8 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. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity.
A point of God’s contention with the priests is that His people are being destroyed because they do not know Him. The priests were charged with the duty to lead the people in YHWH worship. Instead, they obeyed the ruling king by accepting foreign “religious” practices leading idol worship, taking bribes, and engaging in or supporting all sorts of vile sin from cult prostitution to murder. For the religious leaders to promote evil they had to “forget” God’s laws in the Torah forbidding all these practices. As leaders, they led the people from God to sin and thus from glory to shame. As priests were turned from YHWH worship to the Baals, more and more people were admitted into the order which in turn led more and more people astray. God is glorious, but sin results in shame when gets exposed. God accuses the priests of greedily capitalizing on the sin nature of the people. In Hosea’s words to the religious leaders of Ancient Israel we can see wisdom to apply today. There are a number of false gospels being preached in popular churches today. These great lies delude people into false assurance of salvation. The greed of some high profile preachers, like the priests of old, takes food from the mouths of the poor and leaves the people with empty spiritual bowls. Even sincere religious leaders can be sincerely wrong, deceived by others who take even from them. Beware of the “decision” gospel, “prosperity” gospel, or any other gospel that allows the human to acquire salvation through human activity. Jesus said we must be born again (Jn 3:3) – this cannot be accomplished by our own doing. He never said recite this prayer and be saved. He did not promise worldly wealth. He never gave a four-step or ten-step or twelve-step plan to a better sex life or better health or better income or eternal life. Beware of hypocrisy as well as hypocrites.