On the surface, it would seem that God’s words in Hosea 4:6 are no longer true. In today’s Information Age, can we really say today that people are being “destroyed for lack of knowledge”?
Let’s take a closer look…
At first glance, it might seem that the very opposite of Hosea 4:6 is true today. Instead of being destroyed because of our LACK of knowledge, our culture is literally drowning in it. We’ve even had to coin an entirely new term for this: “metadata,” which Wikipedia defines as “data about data.”
In the 21st century, it’s no longer good enough to have data or knowledge. We’ve gotten to the point where we must have data about data and knowledge about knowledge. (Note: In our Narcissistic Age, even the data has become narcissistic, in love with itself!)
In previous centuries, humankind mined precious commodities like diamonds or gold, but now our focus is on mining precious data instead. And make no mistake about it, it’s not just someone else’s data—it’s YOUR data!
Not content to follow obvious data like the clear warning signs leading up to the Boston bombings or Fort Hood massacre, the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the phone records and other information about millions of Americans (yes, YOUR records). Have you seen the pictures of NSA’s huge new $2 billion data storage center in Utah?
When our Founders attempted in the Fourth Amendment to guarantee that all citizens would be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” could they ever have envisioned what we face today?
Don’t be paranoid, but you really are under surveillance. Yet what did you expect? Did you really think you would find any privacy in the Age of Google, Facebook, and Verizon?
Yes, our world is drowning in knowledge, the kind of knowledge clearly predicted in Daniel 12:4 regarding the End Times: “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” I bet you never realized that metadata is one of the prophetic signposts of the Last Days.
In contrast with metadata, Hosea 4:6 is referring to an entirely different kind of knowledge. The NLT translation catches this well: “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know ME.” That’s the kind of knowledge we need above all, but it’s increasingly hard to find today.
You see, when you’re drowning in metadata, it’s not easy to have an intimate relationship with the true and living God. You may get a cell call, text message, or email right when you are starting to pray and experience His presence. So let’s be honest: God’s “still small voice” is just too difficult to hear unless we consciously unplug from the world and periodically get away to a solitary place.
Mystics are hard to find in an Age of Metadata. But shouldn’t we take steps in that direction in order to draw near to God amid our noisy world?