What a contrast there is today between the Old and New Testament readings – but our world is full of contrasts – although the ‘good’ things are getting less and less.  In Acts 20 we read of Paul’s encouragement to the elders who came to him from Ephesus (v.17,18)  What an example Paul set them – and everyone else, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable … of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” [v.21]

     Let us fill our lives with things that are profitable.  All around us people only think of profit in monetary terms, we must think of it in spiritual terms.

     In contrast to our Acts reading the final chapter of 2nd Chronicles tells us of the dismal end of the Jewish nation and of Jerusalem when “all the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations” [v.14]

     Our Hosea reading paints a similarly distressing picture – and without any difficulty at all we can see the parallel to life today.  He declares, “the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants …. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God …there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds …” [v.1,2]  This is the very opposite to leading profitable lives – and remember God only sees TWO pathways.

     God then causes Hosea to  declare, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” [v.6]  And so destruction came, after generations of warning in the centuries after the reign of Solomon.

     Today, God’s word has spread throughout the world.  There is opportunity to acquire the knowledge of God and have “profitable” lives of which God will approve;  although, sadly it has been true in all ages that some have distorted God’s word for their own purposes and power.

       Today, virtually no one is interested in God’s kind of profit and very soon history will repeat itself.  God’s word is full of warnings about this. Make sure you are not “destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  Of course with “knowledge” of this nature – our way of life soon makes it evident whether we really possess it or not.?   It is not just ‘head knowledge’ – it is ‘heart knowledge.’    Is it evident in your life?