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.
In this world, the argument between what is right and what is wrong is debated every day. Master politicians from both ends of the political spectrum spend hours speaking in front of their colleagues with the notion that their way is most correct. God is the most righteous judge of what is right and wrong (see 2 Timothy 4:8). This passage by Hosea is plainly stating that unless you follow the commandments of the LORD you are not wise and not prudent.
In the Old Testament, God gave his people The Ten Commandments as a basic guide of what is right and wrong. There were many other laws concerning issues that apply even today. The book of Leviticus is filled with laws that God gave his people to follow. These laws were not intended to make life harder or to punish his people. These laws were commanded because God loved them and knew what was best for them (see Leviticus 18:5). After all, God is the Creator of all people, who better to make the laws that people should follow.
A transgression by definition is an act that goes against a code or a law. Transgressors break the law. The law to a transgressor is nothing more than an obstacle to their happiness. These people care not for the things of God and think that their way is right (see Proverbs 11:5). The definition of being prudent and wise according to the Bible is heeding God’s laws. It is not the wisdom of the world that makes us wise, but the wisdom of God and the knowledge of his commandments.
Jeremiah 17: 7, 8
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is, For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
If you have ever seen a tree that is planted by a river, you know that there can be no better place for a tree to thrive. This is what God does to a Christian when he trusts in the LORD completely. God provides for him completely and the person has no worries at all. All people in this world are seeking satisfaction. God wants us to feel satisfied just as much as we do. Most of the world seeks satisfaction in worldly pleasures such as material goods and status. God states in this verse that the ultimate satisfaction comes from trusting and hoping in the LORD.
He also promises that the tree will be safe from its enemies, the heat and the year of drought. The same promise holds true for the Christian that trusts and hopes in God. God will protect him from his enemies and make sure that he thrives (see Psalms 91:11).
Bearing fruit is what Christians do when they follow God’s commandments (see Galatians 5:22). When we trust in the LORD we will always experience love and joy and peace. Bearing fruit as a Christian also means to cause others to experience these things. When we follow God’s commandment to love one another as Jesus has loved us (see John 13:34), other people will be more patient and good, and be more faithful. Although sometimes these things are harder to spot than an apple on a tree, they are there and they are the fruit of our obedience to God.
What does it mean to trust and hope in the LORD? For example, if a person with financial difficulties prays to God for the solution to his trouble, he is trusting in the LORD. If this person truly believes that the answer will come, he is hoping in the LORD. If the person decides to take matters into his own hands in a disobedient way, for example by going to Las Vegas to gamble, then he is definitely not hoping and trusting in the LORD. A person that hopes and trusts in the LORD follows his commandments faithfully, trusting that God will take care of his every need.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
One of the loveliest emotions that a human being can experience is peace. When a person has peace he feels safe and secure with no irritations or agitations. It’s ironic how the many things in this world which are meant to give us peace, actually deny us peace. Retirement for example is supposed to be a peaceful time in our life. However, because of the lifestyle that one becomes accustomed to, the race for retirement can actually hurt us so badly that we don’t live long enough to see retirement. The rationalization for this is that if a person works extra hard prior to his “golden years” he can retire in style. This goal then consumes his life. He is constantly thinking of ways to make money for his retirement. It actually defeats the purpose. Why not retire now? Instead of constantly thinking about your “golden years”, think about God. Trust that God will provide for your every need. He not only will provide you with your basic human needs, but will also fulfill your every desire (see Psalms 37: 4).
By staying your mind on God, you show him that you trust him. God treats people who obey him as sons. He cares for our every need. If we just rest in the Lord and give him the reigns to our life, peace will come onto us like never before imagined (see Philippians 4:6, 7). Thinking about God comes from reading his Word everyday and meditating on his laws and commandments. By avoiding evil and focusing and meditating on God we are blessed with his peace (see Psalms 1, 2).
God loves us very much. He wants us to be his children and act as his children should by following his commandments. When we live for ourselves, we disobey and when we live for God we obey. We can do know wrong when we place God at the center of our life and make him present in our every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5).