Wisdom and Righteousness
Hosea 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…

The book of Hosea's prophecies closes with a solemn statement of human freedom and human responsibility. God's mind and will are revealed, but the prophet gives all concerned to understand that the revelation alone is insufficient. Let men observe that it depends upon the spirit in which they receive it, and the action which they take upon it, that all its benefit and advantage depend.

I. DIVINE REVELATION CALLS FOR THE EXERCISE OF HUMAN WISDOM. The praise of folly, which some religionists account a proper part of piety, has no countenance in Scripture. The wise man is the good man; and his wisdom is apparent in his acceptance of Divine counsels and his submission to Divine appointments. The faculty of understanding has been implanted by the Creator, and the due exercise of that faculty is honorable to God. Human wisdom may be misdirected; but human ignorance and imprudence are far more likely to lead men astray. What is needed is a more active exercise of all the powers of the mind; sloth is of all things the most disastrous. On the whole, to know what wise and great men have thought is an advantage to the religious inquirer; a comparison of inspired with uninspired wisdom is likely to lead men into the paths of true and Divine wisdom.

II. DIVINE REVELATION CALLS FOR THE EXERCISE OF RIGHTEOUS OBEDIENCE. Man is not a purely speculative being; he is eminently practical, and knowledge of the truth answers the intended purpose when it leads to the love and practice of rectitude. That abandoned sinners have been converted is true and is ground for rejoicing; that correctness of outward conduct has sometimes stood in the way of a spiritual life is also sadly undeniable. Yet the just are likely to long for a higher righteousness. To admire and to aspire to goodness is to be in the way for the perfect satisfaction which attends those who walk "in the ways of the Lord." These ways are right. And it is hypocrisy to profess to know the revelation of God unless we accept its practical precepts, and make the Scriptures the lamp of our feet and the light of our path. They are truly wise who understand and know God's declarations, and they are truly just who walk in his ways. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: Who is wise, that he may understand these things? Who is prudent, that he may know them? For the ways of Yahweh are right, and the righteous walk in them; But the rebellious stumble in them.

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