“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 14:9 (ESV)
For those who need a promise from God that will help them in their daily here’s one found in the book of Hosea. He was the last to prophesy before Israel’s northern kingdom fell to Assyria. In the last verse in the book we find a promise. Like other promises it has consequences or blessings. Many of the promises God gives us in the Bible are instructions regarding how we respond to the wisdom. Hosea cautions us with the this thought, the wise can understand and the discerning can know that whatever the Lord does is right. When we learn from reading or preaching what the Lord wants and promises us, we can know it is right for God does not instruct us to do what is wrong, He cannot. So the conclusion is this: faith believers are upright in their belief and so they guide their lives by God’s instructions. However not all peoples are upright and obedient. Some go their own way plotting their own course and the result is a life of stumbling over the will of God. Why? Because in their refusal and rebellion they fail to understand God’s promises and fail to be discerning.
“The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.” – Psalm 14:2 (ESV)
Among the essentials we need to progress as Christians in our life here on earth is the essential ability of understanding. Understanding is spoken about frequently in the Bible. Understanding does not come naturally but through a process of learning. Our promise in today’s verse affirms the Lord’s inspection of our thoughts and deeds. The words translated “looks down” in the original Hebrew text include a verb that actually says “bent over” to look. In a very real sense all the children of men are made to pass in review before Him. Because God is omniscient, he knows everything about his creatures including those who believe and those who don’t believe God’s words. We cannot escape his will by redefining words and instructions in the Bible and make those difficult to accept more satisfactory to us in our day. Customs change what is accepted or rejected as good and evil. None of these changes cause the meaning of God’s Word to change. What was an abomination to God 4000 years ago still today what God hates. God is always looking to see if there are those among his creatures who are discerning and seek after Him.
“He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” – John 13:6-7 (ESV)
On a very important night Jesus is with His disciples observing the Passover meal as was the practice of following their Jewish Law. This was indeed the last supper and not only for Jesus but for the disciples. What was about to happen, Jesus’ death and resurrection would fulfill with the requirements of the Law for the sake of righteousness. Jesus was willing to be the perfect and final blood sacrifice for sin. Foot washing was an act of hospitality, and the disciples thought Jesus was doing that. But Jesus was symbolizing what was about to happen for all who believe in Him. Peter, failed to see beyond the humble act itself to the symbol of necessary spiritual cleansing. Jesus responded with this promise: unless the Lamb of God washes away a person’s sin they will have no share with Him. It was for this reason that Jesus, who saw the whole, said to Peter, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Two verbs are translated as ‘understand.’ The first one is knowledge by intuition or by reflection, the second is knowledge by observation and experience.