half bakedIn verses 8-10 of Hosea 7, the prophet gives us another picture. This time God likens the people of Israel to A Half Baked Cake. From a burning out of control scorching oven to a cake that is not fully baked.

“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.”

This mixing of the people is a reference to the people of Israel refusing to obey God’s commands about comingling with the people of other nations – not because of any racial issues, but because the Gentile nations would lead the people of Israel away from God to worship their pagan idols. We see this pattern over and over again in the Old Testament. The result is that the people are like an unturned cake, that is, a cake that is half-baked and not done all the way through.

Because of the mixing going on here, because of the corruption and disobedience and immorality being imported from the nations around them, Israel we are told is losing his strength. “Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it.” Hosea goes on to say that Israel is aging, there is a gray hair here and there, but they are not being noticed. Who doesn’t notice gray hair? And as a matter of pre-marital counseling for those of you who are single, when and if God brings you a person to marry, in the course of that marriage, however old you grow together, husbands, if you notice your wife has gray hairs, remember that you are not the person to point this out!

Israel is weakened, and aging, and unaware. They are in fact, near death as a nation. And having been warned they are oblivious. Verse 10 says, “The pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him for all this.” Their sin is leading to premature aging and death as a nation, and they people don’t care – all they want is for there is be some relief from the consequences of sin without dealing with the sin itself.

Something similar can be seen in the story of Samson in Judges 16:19-20. When he finally gave away the secret to his power and told Delilah that if his hair was cut violating the Nazarite vow then his strength would be gone…when she lured him to sleep and his hair was cut, listen to this description when he woke up. “Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.” He did not even miss the presence of the Lord. This tells us he had begun to believe that the power was his and not the Lord’s.

That is what is happening to Israel. And it happens in the church even today. Leonard Ravenhill has said that the modern evangelical church is so busy and so programmed that the Holy Spirit could leave and the church wouldn’t notice.

The people here, for all the consequences and warning, still do not seek Him.