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God’s people in the northern kingdom were acting like a dove, quite senseless and flitting back and forth between Assyria and Egypt as their protector—in spite of the fact that Yahweh, God of Armies ("Lord of Hosts") wanted to be their shield and defender. This is a powerful figure of speech. God’s people are so foolish that they don’t know when they are actually safe.

Now, some of you are asking, "Isn’t Hosea being a little hard on doves? After all, they’re beautiful birds and they’re always releasing them at weddings, funerals, and special events, why would Hosea call them silly or mindless?" Well, check this out. Did you know that they don’t really release doves at weddings and funerals? What they release are actually white homing pigeons, birds who are strong and have the intelligence and instinct to fly back to safety. White doves are a color variety of the Ringneck dove. They are smaller than the white pigeons and can’t fly very far. Further, they become easy prey for predators and they simply aren’t smart enough to forage for food on their own.

What an apt illustration for God’s people when they look past the divine solutions for their problems and needs in order to grasp at human solutions that may only provide stop-gap measures. How often do God’s people go charging off to plan, reorganize, and work in a panic instead of seeking God and God’s will so that they even knew what direction to "fly." So, we go one way and when that doesn’t work, we go another way. We keep changing what we do so often that we are whipsawed by our own flitting from non-working solution or temporary solution to another. We end up with spiritual whiplash. We don’t know what to do because we have sought our version of Egypt or Assyria instead of God.

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