Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday - Hosea 7 - Of Bread, Birds & Bows

N describing the sins of Israel, God used several different analogies. He mentions a heated oven several times in this chapter (Hosea 7:4, 6 & 7). But today we will focus on the word pictures of a cake (Hosea 7:8), a dove (Hosea 7:9) and a bow (Hosea 7:16). Consider these 3 illustrations and evaluate your own heart and life in light of them.

First, God compared Israel to an unturned cake. This is a portrait of imbalance. I envision a pancake on a hot griddle. The bottom of it is crispy black and the top is still cool, raw and runny. The heat of God's discipline is intended to make us better, but an immovable disposition will cause bitterness instead. Spiritually, you and I are useless when we are too hard on the one hand and too soft on the other (see Philippians 4:5). 

Secondly, Israel is described as a silly dove. They had no sense or discretion. If a lost dove calls ever so loudly to a passing hunter, the calls may be a result of "sincere" despair, but the hunter will still shoot the dove for supper, not just despite the dove's calls, but because of them. Israel sought for help from Egypt & Assyria (Hosea 7:11), but this was not just futile, it was suicidal. Assyria came like a heat seeking missile. When we seek to the world and to the flesh to alleviate our pains, we are also like silly doves.

The last metaphor in this chapter is a bow with misaligned sights. The archer lines the sights up with the target and shoots, but every time, the arrow veers wide to the left. When Israel felt the pressure of God’s judgment upon them, they adjusted, but not in the right direction. You might say that they went from firing at nothing to firing at themselves. "They returned, but not to the Most High" (Hosea 7:16). 

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