Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. — Hosea 14:9
When my mother was a young girl, her family moved often. As she grew up she would be in a school just long enough to make friends, and then it was time to move again. Sometimes the moves were to different parts of the country.
The family finally located in Oregon and began “church shopping.” They would visit one church and then move on to the next. My mother was sixteen when she came to the Apostolic Faith Church with her family. In the very first service, something registered in her heart that this was the truth. The rest of the family went on seeking, but my mother began to attend services regularly and eventually was saved. As a result, I had the privilege of being raised in this wonderful Gospel.
Our focus verse refers to those who are wise and prudent as being those who will walk in the ways of the Lord. Some individuals will hear the truth and it will register down in their hearts, as it did for my mother. Others will hear the truth and will ignore or reject it.
There are many things we can do to keep a wise heart — one that is open to the truth. First of all, we must be honest with ourselves. Many people make excuses for their behavior, but if we are quick to take responsibility for our actions, we have taken a giant step toward having wise hearts.
The concepts of honesty and integrity apply here. We need to always be honest in what we say, and to keep our promises to others. Our business practices should be without reproach and our morals impeccable. Also, we need to commune with the Lord in order to know and understand His ways. We can do this through reading and meditating on His Word, and by communicating with Him in prayer. This will keep strong the love-covenant which was the focus of Hosea’s writing.
The Lord says if we are wise and prudent, we will know His ways. In this age of deceit, it is imperative that we do all we can to keep a love for Truth. Remember — the transgressors will fall, but the just will walk in His way, and the end of His way is Glory!
The final chapters of Hosea are thought to have been written around 715 B.C. Following the death of Jeroboam II, there came a time of chaos and anarchy in Israel. The political system disintegrated and social and moral values crumbled. Crime and poverty were rampant, with the rich oppressing the poor. Marriage had lost its sacred value, and family life and the home had collapsed. In a short time, Israel would be invaded and many of her inhabitants would be taken away captive.
The Book of Hosea revolved around God’s Covenant with His people. In spite of God’s great love for them, His people were unfaithful to Him. Throughout the Book, Hosea warned the people to turn back to the Lord to avoid punishment. Again and again they refused. At this point, they were beginning to reap the fruits of their sin.
In chapter 13, Hosea recounted God’s anger toward Israel. He told of judgment for the sins of the people and for their rejection of Him. God inspired Hosea to illustrate how fleeting Israel’s status was by comparing it to a morning cloud, the early dew, chaff in the wind, and smoke from a chimney.
Verse 11 referenced Israel’s insistence to have a king, and how God eventually appointed King Saul. The Kingdom of Israel became strong under David and Solomon’s reigns. However, once it was divided, there was never another good king in the Northern Kingdom, and the kings were eventually all cut off (2 Kings 17:1-6).
Hosea 14:1-3 called again for Israel’s repentance, with the promise of renewal if the people would return to God. He promised healing for the backslider and blessings upon those who would repent (verses 4-8).
God concluded His message through Hosea by showing He is a God of great mercy, if only people would repent and walk in His ways. Hosea’s message was summarized in the book’s last verse. The wise and prudent were those who had a correct relationship, and therefore fellowship, with God. The transgressors were those who were not in fellowship with God. Some would heed the warnings and succeed; some would ignore the warnings and perish.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The prophet’s message
B. Jehovah’s retribution upon Israel
4. The crimes against Jehovah
f. The idolatry of Israel (13:1-3)
5. The catastrophe upon Israel (13:4-16)
a. The decree (13:4-8)
b. The desolation (13:9-11)
c. The deliverance (13:12-14)
d. The destruction (13:15-16)
C. Jehovah’s restoration of Israel (14:1-8)
1. The invitation (14:1-3)
2. The blessing (14:4-8)
III. Conclusion (14:9)
Let us renew our commitment to commune often with the Lord Who loves us so much. We want to be open to His Voice and to walk in His way.