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Verse 9

Hosea 14:9. Who is wise, &c. That is, who is so truly wise as duly to weigh and consider the important things contained in this prophecy, the duties prescribed, the blessings promised to the obedient, and the judgments threatened to the disobedient? The prophet’s words imply, that there were but few that were endued with such spiritual wisdom and understanding as to do so; but that those who were, would seriously consider and be affected by these things. He shall understand he shall know them Those that set themselves to understand and know these things, thereby make it appear that they are truly wise and prudent, and will thereby be made more so; and that many do not understand and know them, is because they are inconsiderate and unwise. Those that are wise in the doing of their duty, that are prudent in practical religion, are most likely to know and understand both the truths and providences of God, which are a mystery to others. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. For the ways of the Lord are right “The ways of the Lord are both the ways which he himself takes in his moral government of the world, and the ways of godliness which he prescribes to man. These, taken together, are the ways of the Lord, and they are right, or straight,” (as ישׁרים may be properly rendered,) “because they go straight forward, without deviation, to the end, the happiness of man, and the glory of God.” And the just shall walk therein The truly righteous will conform to the will of God, both in his precepts and in his providences, and shall have the comfort of so doing. They shall well understand the mind of God, both in his word and in his works, shall be well reconciled to both, and shall accommodate themselves to God’s intention in both. The righteous shall walk in those ways toward their great end, and shall not come short of it. Bishop Horsley renders this clause, And in them shall the justified proceed, but revolters shall stumble. “In the ways of God,” says he, “as they have been described, the justified, those who by faith in Christ have obtained remission of their sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, shall proceed; they will be making daily and hourly approaches to their journey’s end. They shall be able to advance continually in the understanding of the ways of Providence, and of the way laid out by Jehovah for them. But to the incorrigible enemies of God, the very scheme of mercy itself will be a cause of error, confusion, and ruin.” Thus also Mr. Lowth: “They who are sincerely desirous to know and do the will of God, will be fully satisfied of the reasonableness of his laws, and the methods of his providence, and will readily comply with the directions of both, to the securing of their own eternal happiness; whereas men of perverse and disobedient tempers take offence at God’s commands, and repine against his providence, to their own ruin and perdition. The same sense is expressed in that observation of the son of Sirach, Sir 39:24 , As God’s ways are plain to the holy, so they are stumbling blocks to the workers of iniquity. To the same purpose are those words of Christ, Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice, John 18:37; and, He that is of God heareth God’s word, chap. John 8:47. And St. Peter says, that Christ is become a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to the disobedient, 1 Peter 2:8. The observation of Grotius is very remarkable upon this subject, De Verit. Christian. Relig., lib. 2. c. ult. The doctrine of the gospel was designed to be ‘tanquam lapis Lydius, ad quem ingenia sanabilia explorarentur,’ as a touchstone to try the tempers of men, whether they were corrigible or not.”

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