Summary: A study in the book of Hosea 7: 1 – 16

Hosea 7: 1 – 16

Messed up pancakes

1 “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. 2 They do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. 3 They make a king glad with their wickedness, and princes with their lies. 4 “They are all adulterers. Like an oven heated by a baker—he ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough, until it is leavened. 5 In the day of our king Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine; He stretched out his hand with scoffers. 6 They prepare their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait; Their baker sleeps all night; In the morning it burns like a flaming fire. 7 They are all hot, like an oven, and have devoured their judges; All their kings have fallen. None among them calls upon Me. 8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. 9 Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it. 10 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek Him for all this. 11 “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them according to what their congregation has heard. 13 “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me. 14 They did not cry out to Me with their heart when they wailed upon their beds. “They assemble together for grain and new wine, they rebel against Me; 15 Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against Me; 16 They return, but not to the Most High; They are like a treacherous bow. Their princes shall fall by the sword for the cursings of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

I always have enjoyed eating and watching people prepare and cook or bake some food. There is a gifted man here who was the chief chef at an 5 star restaurant. He got bored, frustrated, and tired running the restaurant, so he purchased a little house in town and converted it to teach and cook for only a small group of people.

He had all the modern appliances in place and he arranged a seating arrangement around his preparation table. My wife and daughter and I were invited by my neighbor to attend a night at this facility in honor of his wife’s birthday.

The way it worked was that the chef had pre-cooked and pre-pared all the food for his patrons. He would describe each meal preparation from scratch from appetizer to desert and then have a couple of his employees then serve us the pre-prepared and food.

Being encourage from my experience of watching the chef put together such an awesome meal I purchased a shake and pour pancakes and waffles mixes. I didn’t do very well in my entrance at food preparation. I either burnt or failed to fully cook the pancakes. To accomplish my objective, I went and bought pre-cooked pancakes in the frozen food aisle at my grocery store and heated them up in a microwave.

Today’s chapter in the book of Hosea a verse stood out and got me thinking of my cooking failures. I was intrigued by Hosea 7:8: "Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned." How did all this have to do with pancakes?

Our Holy Father God had commanded his people not to adopt the abominable and idolatrous practices of the nations around them. They were not to intermarry with people who did not fear the LORD or keep His Word. Because Israel had been disobedient to this command and had been integrated among the heathen nations, God compared them to a "cake unturned." What they called cakes we would likely call flatbread. This might seem like a silly or even ridiculous analogy. But when I took a moment to meditate upon the passage, how true it is!

Unlike today where most baking is done in electric or gas ovens, in Bible times people commonly cooked over a fire. Those who bake know temperature control in an oven is very important. Too low a temperature leads to rubbery cakes that do not rise properly, and too hot scorches the top which conceals a raw center. Can you imagine trying to cook a cake over a fire without turning it over? The bottom would burn black and stick to the pan, while the top would be raw and runny. If you chipped out this cake and threw it to the dogs they would likely just sniff at it and walk away! A cake unturned is a useless waste of good ingredients. All the potential for a wholesome, delicious cake was there. Neglect in baking properly led to a total culinary disaster.

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