Return to the LORD - Part 3

(the LORD speaking through Hosea)
    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)

In this proverb-like conclusion to the prophecy of Hosea, the English words translated from the Hebrew do not lend full justice to the meaning:
"wise" refers to one who is skilled or experienced, as for example, a craftsman

"understand" conveys the sense of to pay attention or to consider diligently

"discerning" is the same Hebrew word as "understand" in the line above

"know" signifies personal familiarity or a relationship

"upright" is one who is morally just and conforms to the LORD's standards

"transgressors" are the willfully rebellious and habitual sinners
In context, "these things" and "them" seem to point back to the LORD's word spoken through Hosea.

A reasonable paraphrase would seem to be something like:
He who is skilled or experienced in studying my words will pay close attention to them and consider them diligently; and he who does so will have a personal relationship with them and (by the teaching of other Scripture) with Me.

Such a person will walk in my righteous ways and be righteous. The rebellious will reject my ways and be reprobate.

As you come to him (Jesus Christ), a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
    "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." (cited from Isaiah 28:16)

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone," (cited from Psalm 118:22)

and
"A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense." (cited from Isaiah 8:14)

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

1 Peter 2:4-8 (ESV)

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.