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Hosea 7 (ESV)
8 Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers devour his strength,
and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
and he knows it not.
10 The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
yet they do not return to the Lord their God,
nor seek him, for all this.
11 Ephraim is like a dove,
silly and without sense,
calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
12 As they go, I will spread over them my net;
I will bring them down like birds of the heavens;
I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation.
13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
I would redeem them,
but they speak lies against me.
14 They do not cry to me from the heart,
but they wail upon their beds;
for grain and wine they gash themselves;
they rebel against me.
15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against me.
16 They return, but not upward;
they are like a treacherous bow;
their princes shall fall by the sword
because of the insolence of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
- Chapter 7 continues to reveal the evils of Israel. There are internal and external troubles facing the country at that time. Verses 8-16 aimed at Israel’s international foreign policy. Ephraim is called “a cake not turned” (8). It is mixed and is only baked on one side. It is not suitable for eating, so it is of no value. Ephraim was described as “likea dove, silly and without sense” (11). When he encountered difficulties, he only knew that he would move closer to the big international forces, begging Egypt or defecting to Assyria, but their path would not be prosperous.
- Israel’s pride is to think that it can take on the overall situation and rely on outside help without turning to the Lord. This kind of self-sufficiency is self-deception and self-reliant mentality, how pitiful it is. God intended to redeem them (13), but the Israelites forsook, disobeyed, lied, rebelled, and resisted. Are we also like the people of Israel, praying without sincerity, but only ask God for “grain and wine” (14)?
Ask God to see if you have forsaken, disobeyed, lied, rebelled, and resisted God like the Israelites. Are your prayers come from sincerity, or are you just asking God to give you wealth or physical benefits in the world?