“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.”
And thus ends the book of Hosea. This is the last verse in the book. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things.” Think about what are these things. Think about all that God has said in the book of Hosea about the seriousness of sin. Sin is like spiritual adultery, a picture, a husband who loves his wife, and his wife deliberately turns from him and his love and goes running after many other men. And he continues to love her still, and to the point of purchasing to bring her back.
The price for sin is death, yet God is merciful to those who turn and trust in Christ.
It’s this picture of sin as spiritual adultery, and yet that is deserving of God’s judgment. Sin warrants the wrath, the judgment, the discipline of God. Sin is infinitely serious before a holy God. And yet God is loving. God is merciful towards sinners who will turn from their sin and trust in him. “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.”
So, God, we pray, straight based on Hosea chapter 14 verse 9, help us to be wise and to understand these things. God, we pray that you would help us to understand. God, we pray that you would help us to see sin for the horror that it is. God, help us to hate sin, we pray, just like the thought of being unfaithful to someone we love. God, in a supreme way, you are supremely loving toward us. We don’t want to be unfaithful to you. We want to faithfully walk with you. So help us to hate sin, to run from it, to cling to you. We praise you for your love for us, for your faithfulness to us, even when we have been unfaithful to you.
God, thank you for loving us when we don’t deserve it. Jesus, thank you for paying the price for our sin on the cross. So help us, help us to walk with, enjoy deep intimacy with you. God, this is wisdom, understanding that we’re created for a relationship with you, like a husband and a wife, or like a father and a child, like to walk in love for you, enjoying your love for us. God, help us to understand these things, to be wise, not to be foolish, not to run after the things of this world, but to cling to you, knowing that your ways are right.
So make us upright. Help us to walk in your ways. Help us to walk according to your word. Help us to meditate on your word day and night and do according to what is in it, to walk in your ways, and not to be counted among transgressors who stumble in your ways. God, keep us from transgression, we pray.
I just pray Hosea 14:9 over every single person listening right now. Give them wisdom, guard them from foolishness, help them to understand your love, the seriousness of sin, and the beauty of what we’ve been called to in a relationship with you. And help them to be upright, to walk in your ways that are right, and not to stumble in them through transgression. God, I pray that over them, I pray that over my life, that we might fully enjoy you and your ways, you and your love, and your ways that are right and good and best for us. We pray Hosea 14:9 in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.