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Summary: True wisdom involves understanding your position before God and turning to him in repentance, asking him to restore you.

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Sermon by Camille Lang

Are you wise?

Who do you consider wise? What is wisdom?

Here are some random wise sayings I found on the internet

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom

- H.L. Mencken

Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives

Abba Eban

Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head

Ambrose Bierce

It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.

Sam Levenson

Hmmm not sure if that helps or hinders our quest in understanding wisdom….

The dictionary says that wisdom is having the power to judge properly what is true or right…. is having the power to judge properly what is true or right….

When I read that it kinda surprised me a bit…..it’s not the first thing I think of when I think of wisdom….often in our society we link wisdom with people who are older than us…..I say often rather than always as I haven’t heard the youth say how wise myself and the other youth leaders are!! And on saying that, I can’t remember saying that to Chris either!! However I do see my nana as being one of the wisest people I know…..So in our society wisdom is often coupled with age….

Wisdom I think is also associated with knowledge…..People who have loads of knowledge on a particular topic are considered wise…..My dad for example knows an awful lot about cars…. particularly my car!!! He’s very wise to speak to when there’s smoke from the engine…or it won’t start….or a flat tyre

The point is though that society has definite ideas on who has wisdom and who doesn’t……. We all have ideas and people who we think are wise……However today what I want us to think about is not just what society thinks is wise but what is wisdom in God’s eyes? Who does God consider wise? But before we answer these questions from our passage today…..Let’s recap on where we’ve come

We have been going through the book of Hosea over a couple of months. Now Hosea was a man called by God to speak God’s message to the people of Israel…..So just like when we read the Bible, we read God’s message to us…..Hosea was actually saying, at times yelling, or even pleading God’s message directly to the people of Israel.

Now Israel were God’s people….they were set apart from the rest of the world….. for his purposes of saving that world. This was a big responsibility…… And I just want you to think for a moment how you respond when you are given responsibility…..Sometimes we take it on the chin….. and don’t think about it very much…. and do whatever we have to it……Other times I think we can assume a superiority…..One that is very aware that you have been given responsibility or power over something or someone else….I think it’s easy to let the "power" go to your head if you have knowledge over someone else…..if you are considered wiser or the wisest….. Israel were to be God’s people set apart to be a light to the rest of the world…..You can nearly see Israel thinking…..Wow we’re different?! Chosen by God…. superior to everyone else….You can nearly see them leap from being set apart by God for his purposes…. to how wise or good are we ….thinking they must have the power to judge properly right and wrong because God has chosen them…..

Yet as we look at our passage today….we see that Israel God’s people have turned away from God….We see Hosea’s plea to return to the Lord your God…..Israel had stumbled in many ways……in chapter 4 verse 1 and 2 we read "that there is no….bloodshed follows bloodshed"…..in that same chapter we read from verse 12…Israel had turned to other gods that of Baal and of consulting wooden poles….it’s interesting to note the language of whoredom…..Israel were in relationship with God…..like that of a marriage…..God the husband, the provider, nurturer and deliver has been cheated on by Israel…..

In understanding this….I ask the question "Were Israel a people considered wise?" By all accounts you would have to say a definite no……People who steal and commit adultery don’t fit into our definitions of wisdom….one assumes that they don’t know what is true or right…..or else they would have carried it out….surely??!! What do you think God thinks of Israel’s behaviour…..would it fit by His standards of wisdom??

The first verse in our passage today answers this question ……Read with me from verse 1..(READ)…… Israel has stumbled….They had turned away from their Creator, they had cheated on Him….They had disobeyed his laws for them……Stealing, murdering and idolatry are not part of God’s standard’s of wisdom…..so they’re stumbling…..

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