‘We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect.’ James 3:2a
Hosea ends his words with the insightful saying: ‘Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand’ (:9). When we sin, when we stumble, we often become angry with God, and a reproach mumbles in our hearts that God has not kept us from falling. Maybe we have even sunken deeper and do not grumble anymore, but settle for apathy, saying that we are doomed to stumble.
‘The ways of the Lord are right,’ says Hosea, ‘the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.’ We agree with him wholeheartedly, that is to say, we agree with the latter part, the first part does not appeal to us, for - after all - nobody is righteous.
But Hosea does not refer to people who are righteous in themselves, for then - indeed - nobody would walk in God’s ways. Hosea tells here who are truly wise and discerning, namely, the people who take His words to heart. When we stumble, when we sin, then at most we offer God our apologies, and after that we continue boldly in the same way.
God calls upon us today to not only confess that we have sinned, but to really turn to Him, so that we will no longer stumble. Repentance means: getting focused on the Lord, expecting everything from Him, trusting only Him and not the work of our own hands anymore. Only when - redeemed from our self-righteousness - we start confessing our iniquity before God, we will experience His love again and learn to follow the true path at His hand.