A Tale of Holy Love, Unfaithfulness, Justice, Mercy, and Grace
We’ve come to the last chapter and the last verse of the book of Hosea. We’ve covered a lot of ground, learned many lessons, and seen so many aspects of God’s character and the lengths He goes to win back a wayward heart. Now as the book draws to a close along with our time in it, we are left with a final exhortation, a last warning, and a closing challenge.
“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.”
Hosea was written as a warning of the things that were coming upon Israel should they continue in their rebellion. It spells out in great detail the consequences of sin and God’s perspective on idolatry. So it is appropriate that the book would finish with this final exhortation and challenge.
It is one thing to know all that Hosea contains and another thing to act upon that knowledge. It would be so easy for us to merely store away all the information and lessons that we’ve unearthed into head knowledge and not apply those truths to our lives. But wisdom is acting upon the knowledge that we have gained and discernment is being aware of where the spiritual hazardous areas are in life. The wise and discerning man listens. The discerning man takes to heart the warning and changes directions. The wise man acts on this knowledge.
But why should we have hearts of wisdom and discernment? Because God’s ways are right and only those who are willing to stop, listen, and change their lives to realign themselves with God’s way will be able to walk in His truth. Everyone else will stumble, fail, and walk in transgression. So pray for wisdom and discernment. We can be knowledgeable about many things, but wisdom is knowing when to act upon that knowledge. We can know much about God, but if we don’t apply that knowledge to how we live our lives we profit nothing.
Therefore, let us seek to understand the ways of the Lord, let us heed the warnings and learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before, let us be quick to obey God’s commands and change our lives when He points out areas of weakness or sin, and above all else let us fear Him and keep Him at the center of our lives and leave Him on the throne of our hearts—for this is a wise and discerning heart. As the wisest man on earth concluded:
“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”