From the Book of Hosea:

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 (Hos. 14:9).

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 (Hos. 14:9).

The final words of the prophet Hosea before the Israelites were conquered and carried away by the Assyrians should serve as a reminder and a warning to us all. The ways of the LORD are right ‑ God is always right. It doesn't matter what we think, or feel, or passionately believe. If it is not God's way, then it is wrong. Furthermore, if we do not walk in the ways of God, then we are transgressors and we shall fall therein. It doesn't really get any clearer than that. As His judgment was being carried out, the Lord had changed Hosea's message from one of chastisement to a message of love. This did not mean that God had changed His mind; it meant that even though a Holy God must judge His people, His love still reached out to them. He called for Israel to return to Him and reject the idols which drew her away, saying, O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity (14:1). He promised mercy and forgiveness if only she would do so.

Israel, however, had become too self‑absorbed to hear the Lord's tender plea. During past troubles, they had turned to the powerful nations of Egypt and Assyria for help instead of relying on the protection of God. This had led to the Israelites accepting their idols (4:17; 8:4; 11:2; 13:2; Is. 42:17; 44:17). As a result their loyalties became confused. As Israel's prosperity and wealth had increased, so had their ingratitude and indifference to God. The more God lavished His favor upon them, the more confused they seemed to become. They praised their idols and patted themselves on the back for a job well done. They had become caught up in the illusion of self‑sufficiency. Instead of using it to further the Lord's cause, their prosperity was used for selfish ends: Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images (Hos. 10:1). With a divided heart, God's people feared the Lord yet served their gods (II Kings 17:32-33). They were not willing to give up either God or their idols, instead, they tried to worship both.

With altars and idols, the doctrine of the Israelites had become empty words of hypocrisy. The Jews boasted of their relationship to Jacob, but they did not walk in his steps. Israel's character was unlike the man whose name they bore, who had wrestled for God's best, but rather was like his brother Esau, who failed to see God's purposes until it was too late.

Many today have yet to learn that no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other (the one of less importance). Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). Until we have grasped this basic concept, we will be unable to become the person that the Lord has created us to be. However, when we repent, turn from our sins, receive Jesus as our Savior, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit control our lives, then we will be freed from Satan's hold. Our confusion will lift, and we will know God.

If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him (John 14:7).

Thought for Today:

He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer (Ps. 102:17).

Christ Revealed:

In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1). This prophecy is twofold: one is a historical reference pertaining to Israel (Ex. 4:22-23); and the other is prophetic, looking to the sojourn of Christ as a child in Egypt (Matt. 2:14-15).

Word Studies:

9:1 hast gone a whoring = committed spiritual adultery and idolatry, were unfaithful to God (Israel was regarded as the wife of Jehovah. Isaiah 54:5; 62:4-5); cornfloor = threshing floor; 10:5 calves = golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride = to put in harness; 11:12 ruleth with God = is still considered faithful to God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray For Radio: Sponsored by Iva Jo Swinsburg • Staff: Becca Lucio • Country: Cameroon (23,130,708) Central Africa • Major Languages: English, French, 24 Major African Language Groups • Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims • 40% Indigenous Beliefs; 40% Christian; 20% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Ps. 50:15).

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries