Summary: Israel’s foolish acts are listed (vv. 1-7), and her floundering is portrayed (vv. 8-16). God’s desire for Israel was healing and restoration. Instead they were involved in lying, theft, robbery (v. l), blatant contempt of God (v. 2), political corruption
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
I read a humorous story about a woman who fell out of a second-floor window and landed in a slow-moving garbage truck. Half-buried in the litter, she tried without success to get the truck-driver’s attention. A foreign diplomat standing on the sidewalk saw her and quipped, “another example of how wasteful Americans are. That woman looks like she’s good for at least another 10 years.” (Source unknown)
Israel’s foolish acts are listed (vv. 1-7), and her floundering is portrayed (vv. 8-16). God’s desire for Israel was healing and restoration. Instead they were involved in lying, theft, robbery (v. l), blatant contempt of God (v. 2), political corruption (v. 3), and uncontrolled lust (v. 4).
So degraded is the nation that the king, who should be a leader for righteousness, is a leader in sin and debauchery (v. 5). As a result the nation is in moral degradation and completely consumed by sin. Law enforcement completely breaks down, and there is political assassination after political assassination (v. 7). All of this transpires because there is no one to call the nation back to God.
Israel’s floundering is portrayed in three figures (vv. 8-16):
1. As a cake not turned (vv. 8-10). They had much religious activity,but no religious reality. The figure of the cake not turned shows how as far as religious activity is concerned, they are overdone. But as far as their attitude and activity towards God is concerned, they are raw. It was as if they were burned on one side and raw on the other.
2. As a dove without understanding (vv. 11-15). Instead of looking to God for protection, they made political alliance with Egypt and Assyria, seeking to play one against the other. In the end they were ravaged by both.
3. As a bow that misses the intended target (v. 16). God has intended wonderful things for Israel, but they have continuously misused His blessings for their own ends.
Pride was Israel’s big problem. Pride intensifies all of our sins. We cannot repent of any of them without first giving up pride.