Hosea 7 (NIV)
“The kings have fallen.
I will cast a net o’er them.
They have strayed from me.”
–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle
“Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
1 whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
and the crimes of Samaria revealed.
They practice deceit,
thieves break into houses,
bandits rob in the streets;
2 but they do not realize
that I remember all their evil deeds.
Their sins engulf them;
they are always before me.
3 “They delight the king with their wickedness,
the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers,
burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
Burning, burning, with desire and passion, but not for the Lord. So, of course, the product that comes from the oven is not good. The idea is something of a half-baked cake, like when the pancake is burned on the outside and still wet on the inside. See also verse 8 — “a flat loaf not turned over.”
5 On the day of the festival of our king
the princes become inflamed with wine,
and he joins hands with the mockers.
6 Their hearts are like an oven;
they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smolders all night;
in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are hot as an oven;
they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,
and none of them calls on me.
Historical note: Four kings of Israel were assassinated within 20 years, two during a mere seven-month period. Tribute money sent to Assyria and Egypt drained the country financially. Hosea uses strong language to call the nation back to God.
8 “Ephraim mixes with the nations;
Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
9 Foreigners sap his strength,
but he does not realize it.
His hair is sprinkled with gray,
but he does not notice.
Hosea says Israel is as foolish as an old man who pretends he is still young.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,
but despite all this
he does not return to the Lord his God
or search for him.
11 “Ephraim is like a dove,
easily deceived and senseless—
now calling to Egypt,
now turning to Assyria.
Hosea says Israel is as senseless as a dove, a bird thought to be easy to catch.
12 When they go, I will throw my net over them;
I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
I will catch them.
13 Woe to them,
because they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them,
because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
but they speak about me falsely.
They see their problem, but do not recognize it as sin.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts
but wail on their beds.
They know they need help, but they refuse to turn to God.
They slash themselves, appealing to their gods
for grain and new wine,
but they turn away from me.
They try every trick they know, every new self-help fad, every new idea from a talk show host or television doctor — but they dismiss God as useless and irrelevant.
15 I trained them and strengthened their arms,
but they plot evil against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High;
they are like a faulty bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
because of their insolent words.
For this they will be ridiculed
in the land of Egypt.
“First we make our habits and then our habits make us.”
–Charles C. Noble
As Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.” HERE is David Lubben and “Take Me to the Cross Again.”