Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right…
It cannot be said that our position as a nation is like that of Israel in those days when she was tottering to her fall. But the same, or very similar, evils to those which proved the ruin of Israel exist among us to a deplorable degree. Those who are familiar with the prophecy will know what I mean when I say that evil is with us at the moth stage, not yet at the lion stage (see chap. Hosea 5.). The moth stage is when evil keeps eating like a canker into the vitals of a people, but where there is nothing, or very little, to attract attention; no noise, nothing to alarm. But let the moth stage go on, let corruption increase among the people, and presently the roar of a lion will be heard; there will be tumult and commotion, there will be the outbreak of open rebellion against the powers that be, in heaven and on earth too. Hosea has it for his great object throughout to show the cause and the cure of all these evils. The cause is unfaithfulness to God, and the cure is returning to Him with the whole heart. There is never more vigour in Hosea's tone than when, reminding of the sin of Jehovah, he says, "Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off!" Has modern society no calf? Does it not make a god of gold? Is not that "covetousness which is idolatry" a national vice? Israel had a calf at Dan as well as at Bethel. This may be taken to represent the idol of natural law. People trust in the laws of evolution, working through the struggle for existence to the survival of the fittest. The great effort, of these people is to bring man and all that concerns him under the stern operation of that law. What shall we do? A question much more easily asked than answered. There are many reforms, and these by far the most needful and far-reaching in their result, which can only be accomplished by the diffusion of a spirit of love; and this is only possible by a general return of the people to the Lord their God. The humanitarian spirit which is shown by not a few of those who make no profession of faith in God is much to be commended; but it never can by its inherent force make way in society. To flow as a fertilising stream through the waste places of society, it must take its rise in the high mountains of Divine faith and hope and love. The nether springs of human generosity must be fed by the upper springs of Divine grace.
(J. Monro Gibson, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.