7 when I would heal Israel,
the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
and the evil deeds of Samaria,
for they deal falsely;
the thief breaks in,
and the bandits raid outside.
But they do not consider
that I remember all their evil.
Now their deeds surround them;
they are before my face.
By their evil they make the king glad,
and the princes by their treachery.
They are all adulterers;
they are like a heated oven
whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
from the kneading of the dough
until it is leavened.
On the day of our king, the princes
became sick with the heat of wine;
he stretched out his hand with mockers.
For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue;
all night their anger smolders;
in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven,
and they devour their rulers.
All their kings have fallen,
and none of them calls upon me.
Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Strangers devour his strength,
and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
and he knows it not.
The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
nor seek him, for all this.
Ephraim is like a dove,
silly and without sense,
calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
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.
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.
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.
Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against me.
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.
Hosea 7 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“Israel will not recognize her failures or confess their compromised half-baked spiritual life that is marked by pride.”The Bible Panorama
When something is half-baked, it is done on one side and not the other, like a pancake. Or like a cake, it gives the appearance of being finished but upon that first bite, it’s mushy and raw inside. It’s useless. It also can make you sick.
“Ephraim has become a cake not turned.”Hosea 7:8b
God reckons Israel to a flat cake not turned over. It fits the bill of this description. Israel has failed again and again in the relationship with Him. It has not confessed or owned for that matter their failures – and justified instead.
Outwardly they may look good but inwardly is a different story.
I know a lot of half-baked Believers. Their faith is shallow, their ideas and concepts are based on their own thinking. They chase after ideologies and theology even that does not align with Scripture. They pursue these because it tickles their ears in what they want to hear. When confronted by things in their life, whether verbally or through circumstances even, they push the blame, skirt the issue, justify their behavior continuously.
In a moment of honesty, such people are draining. As something half-baked is useless, being able to depend upon them comes with little follow through. Always chasing the wind of some new idea, starting things that are never completed, and when challenged about it the excuses are long and monotonous. If there’s personal frustration in such a situation, how in the world does God feel? I cannot imagine.
All God is asking is for people to recognize their state, return and seek Him on every level. Own their state of being, confess their failures, turn and be healed from their own self-inflicted wounds. Instead, when the going gets tough, they may cry to Him but it isn’t from their heart but for relief (Hosea 7:14). It will never come.
When something is half-baked, the answer to getting it cooked all the way through is to put it back in the heat. The fires need to be turned up. God was doing that with Israel and He does it today. Sometimes the heat needs dialed up to extreme measures for people to finally recognize and turn to Him.
“Whatever it takes Lord, whatever it takes.”
Hosea 7 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“Two-faced and double-tongued,Hosea 7:2
they steal you blind, pick you clean.
It never crosses their mind
that I keep account of their every crime”
God exposes Israel’s two-sided nature in this chapter. He compares them to someone who is two-faced or double-tongued. Today we would call such a person a hypocrite. We hear the same words spoken by Jesus to the church in Laodicea…
“You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.”Revelation 3:15-19 MSG
Every conflict sets up an opportunity for a response. So what is the response here? It does not matter whether we look at the Old Testament verses of Hosea, or the New Testament verses of Revelation, there is consistency in the prescription. Repent.
Jesus says it this way in Revelation…
“The people I love, I call to account – prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!”Revelation 3:19 MSG
I love this statement. Is discipline a bad thing? Well, it’s bad in the sense that it hurts, but it’s good in the sense that we know God loves us. He wants the best for us. He exposes our two-sided nature so we can deal with it and conform to His image. This is where the Holy Spirit leans in and begins to prod and correct. His nature is to lead us to be our best which always means we look more like Jesus.
It’s not natural to desire prodding and correction. It takes the Holy Spirit to humble us and bring complete brokenness so that we can be made whole. But, once we experience that prodding and see the fruit of repentance, we will continue to come back to it again and again. Sadly, some so-called Christians will rarely experience this kind of spiritual growth. They are content to remain the same people year after year.
Are you thankful for the conviction in your life today? Are you thankful for the prodding and the correction? The truth is, God wants to continually restore you in some way. No one will ever reach the pinnacle of holiness this side of Heaven. So, we should expect that His prodding will occur regularly and that our response of repentance will lead us to freedom.