Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
This passage is the last verse of the book of Hosea. Throughout this prophetic book, we see the people turning away from the Lord and turning toward other gods. Hosea 4:12 says “My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.”
So, who is wise? The wise person is the one who sees the repeated message throughout the book of Hosea. He will understand that God is merciful and offers a great opportunity for repentance and restoration. The foolish, however, will stumble in them because they neglect that invitation.
Likewise, do you call yourself a follower of Christ, yet are continuing to walk in the ways of this world? Is your heart in sin? Do you lust after the pleasures of this world? Jeremiah 9:12-13 says “Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it,”
There is a parallel with the followers of Christ today and with the people of Israel and Judah. Israel and Judah went after other God’s and the pleasures and desires of the world; when they should have been a chosen and holy people. In like manner, those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior are seeking the pleasures of this world. Not only that but they are also approving the actions and behaviours of the world.
Romans 1:32 says “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” We must take the warnings of the Bible seriously. Do not assume that you know what the Lord requires because of how you would like God to be. Instead, meditate on the Law of God day and night. Read His word that you may know His will and requirements. Then you will be wise when your heart turns to Him.
If you do not listen to the word of God or meditate on it, then you will stumble. 1 Peter 2:8 says “they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” It is never a good place to be when in your blindness you stumble. You stumble when you profess one thing with your mouth and do another thing in your heart and your actions.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
In conclusion, I urge you to be discerning. Be wise, and seek the Holy Spirit to help you understand and meditate on the word of God because the way of the Lord is right. Otherwise, you will stumble. Do not trust in your wisdom and try to conform God to what you think, instead submit yourself to the word of God. In closing, lets read 2 Corinthians 3:5 “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,” Likewise be wise, and may your sufficiency be in Christ alone that you may not stumble.