GREY HAIRS AND BURNT PANCAKES - Hosea 7

Shabbat shalom family; it is good and well pleasing to be together as we enjoy the ability to delight in the Sabbath and continue to bring esteem unto the Name of our Maker, יהוה our Elohim, aměn!

How many of you love cake or pancakes etc.? Now what if you were given a burnt cake or pancake to eat, or even worse than that a burnt cake that is raw in the middle or a pancake that is burnt on one side and raw on the other? I am sure you would spit it out as soon as you tasted it! Keep that picture in your mind as we go along.

As one grows older it is inevitable that grey hairs begin to make themselves known and as we know it says in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:31 “Grey hair is a crown of adorning, it is found in the way of righteousness.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:29 “The comeliness of young men is their strength, and the splendour of old men is their grey hair.

What if you are grey and strong – does that make you pleasurable and brilliant…J Jokes aside… Grey hair is very much linked to the picture of wisdom through age in Scripture, but it also can picture for us a decline in physical health – a picture of one’s life that is nearing its end as Ya’aqoḇ said to Yosĕph’s brothers that if any harm came to Yosĕph that they would bring down his grey hair with evil to the grave! There are some who say that there is scientific proof that stress can induce the turning of one’s hair grey. Whether that is true or not grey hairs can represent wisdom but also can be a picture for us of one having not used the wisdom they ought to have acquired by displaying foolishness in their actions when they should know better.  In a message tonight called, “Grey Hairs and Burnt Pancakes” I would like us to look at the stern words of יהוה that we find in the Book of Hoshěa when יהוה is speaking of the crookedness of Ephrayim and be able to learn a great deal from this passage. Please turn with me to Hoshěa/Hosea 7 (Read).

Grey hairs and burnt pancakes will make more sense as we go through this tonight! What we have here in this passage is first up that whenever יהוה would heal Yisra’ĕl His chosen and called out ones, what happens? The crookedness of Ephrayim is uncovered – it is exposed and shown up for what it is. All the falsehood and wickedness is revealed and so the theme of this chapter is that יהוה has set aside a time to heal Yisra’ĕl but they revealed their true motives – a fitting picture of what is happening at large today – true motives of the hearts of those who claim to be children of Elohim is being revealed. Ephrayim in Scripture is a picture for us of the Northern Kingdom – the Northern 10 tribes whose capital was Shomeron (Samaria) and the meaning of Shomeron is simply ‘chief watchmen’, and sadly what we see being revealed here is that instead of being watchmen – there was a lack of integrity on the part of the leaders and when leaders have no integrity the entire nation becomes corrupt. A people with no integrity – we looked at this last week as we went through an integrity test in a sense by looking intently into the Word showing us the character we ought to have in living set-apart during exile. Integrity is simply the adherence to a code of moral values and speaks of being complete, incorruptible, honest, undivided and loyal – certainly not the description given here of Ephrayim!

They were so corrupted in their falsehood that they did not say to their hearts that יהוה remembers all their evil – in other words they were so puffed up with pride that they failed to consider that יהוה remembers those who reject his instructions – His Torah and His favour or grace is not for those who willingly choose to reject His Torah. A clear picture of sin or be lawless. This false grace approach is what cost Ephrayim their healing at this point and their sentence was doubled!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:18 “And first I shall repay double for their crookedness and their sin, because they have defiled My land with the dead bodies of their disgusting matters, and have filled My inheritance with their abominations.

This chapter gives us clear descriptions of their crookedness and uses a number of word pictures that I would like us to look at as we consider the lessons for us contained herein.

One of the pictures we clearly see being represented in the process of baking bread or the lack thereof to do it correctly!

יהושע compared the reign of the heavens to good leaven that permeates the whole batch of dough in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:33 , and in the making of bread and baking process there does come a time for the dough to stop rising and this is accomplished through the application of the right heat. A little heat can make the dough rise even more as some bakers leave their dough in the sun to aid the rising process, but when it needs to be baked the temperature must be raised higher in order to keep its shape. There is coming a time when the called out community will no longer grow and be called back to the land once the message of the Good News has reached the whole House of Yisra’ĕl. If bread is cooked at a high heat after it has risen too much then all that happens is that only the crust is baked solid while the inside does not get cooked.

Now with Ephrayim (the dispersed 10 tribes – the scattered seed); since sin was not being ‘burnt out’ by living according to the Torah, the lukewarm “religiousness” that developed and remained only promoted the lawlessness to fester and continue to infect the entire dough in a negative way, and as a result over many centuries what we see today is the “church” that this lifestyle of lawlessness has in one way mushroomed into, as it became unified with pagan traditions of sun-day worship and other wicked practices; which when confronted about, simply hides behind a burnt  protective crust of tradition. All the leaders had become corrupt and no one was calling upon His Name!!!

Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:32 tells us clearly that all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered. Ephrayim was in need of deliverance form lawless and corrupted living and no one called upon יהוה. Their worship was corrupted to suit self and had forsaken the need to call upon His Name! Why – because they mixed with the peoples – Ephrayim got so entangled with the world and mixed in with their pagan traditions to the point where Ephrayim was no longer identifiable from the rest!

Here you have a degrading nation whose king was steeped in sin and as a result the entire nation was now consumed by sin, which is lawlessness and ‘law enforcement’ had completely broken down seeing the political assassination of one king after another. Ephrayim had become unstable and divided in their worship and Ephrayim’s struggle to maintain a secure footing in the truth is pictured for us in 4 ways:

1 – A CAKE UNTURNED! (v8)

Verse 8 gives us this very interesting description of a corrupted nation – they had become a cake unturned. There was much religious activity going on yet it all lacked reality – it lacked truth. The picture we have here is one of a cake that is overdone on one side while still raw on the other. In many Eastern countries bread was baked on the ground and covered with embers and was turned every 10 minutes in order to bake it thoroughly through without burning it. What an unturned cake speaks of is one that will become burnt and then discarded as it has no use. This has great application for us today as it truly pictures the one sided problem of man-made religion as an attempt at worshipping Elohim. Overdone on one side, even to the point of burning and becoming a stench in their attempt at putting formulas of worship that are simply man-made and man-driven, into force while they remain uncooked on the other side as they neglect the Truth. In other words they were overcooked in their programmes and schedules while raw in their obedience and attitude unto יהוה! This is the picture of burnt pancakes I refer to – a better description could be ‘half-baked and burnt’. Bread was prepared in a way that it was cooked on both sides – like we would do a pancake today. What this shows us today is the stinking thinking of how many think that they can serve Elohim and idols at the same time. Ephrayim simply followed the crowd, followed the masses as it seemed to be better. We hear that excuse today – “They all can’t be wrong!” Oh yes they can!!! Being half baked represents being unbalanced and unstable while thinking that you are, yet do not realise that you are burning or headed that way! They were becoming burnt on the one side – that is they were so immersed into falsehood of twisted truth that it was killing them – the bad yeast of lawlessness, pride and self had infected  the entire batch in a bad way, while on the other side they were uncooked – that is they had no Torah teaching – they had done away with it and as we see today the excuse of a false grace approach of making people believe that they do not need to be turned and heated with the Truth of the Torah of Freedom, saying it doesn’t apply anymore and it is done away with – that kind of thinking will get you burnt! Listen, if you were to go and make some pancakes – and only cook it on the one side until it is burnt, while still raw on the top and then eat it! What do you think you will do? I am pretty sure you will spit it out. Well that is exactly the picture we are seeing here – divided heart. To the assembly in Laodicea יהושע told them that they were neither hot nor cold but lukewarm and that he would spit them out! There are too many today riding the fence so to speak – they want to claim all of the blessings in the Word yet waver between varying opinions of assuming that they can serve יהוה without actually walking in His instructions – His Torah, as they have never allowed the ‘heat’ of the Torah to make them into fine bread acceptable unto Elohim! This is none other than a divided heart approach to worshipping the Father as true worshippers worship in Spirit and Truth!

What are some symptoms of being half baked or half done?

A – You still get mad and rebel against the Truth when confronted with it, especially when you do not get things your way

B – You still have many regrets and you hold on to those things that you are to throw off

C – Your experiences and pleasures are greater in the world than they are in the body of Messiah and in fellowship – by this I mean that you would much rather prefer to be doing all the things that the world offers than in delighting in the Word and living it out with joy, within a set-apart community being a light to the nations!

The baker who is careless and falls asleep and ruins the batch, doesn’t work or knead the dough properly and leaves the oven on to burn the bread represents the false prophets and teachers and leaders. They do not tell the people not to worship as the fire of worship is still burning, however they do not put the right kind of good leaven in the dough! They do not teach the people what they need to know. Christianity may look like it represents the Body of Messiah on the outside and for many it doesn’t seem that bad as they seem to get people gathered and rallied together, getting them excited about worship, yet what they are not doing is equipping them with the Truth – they are simply burning them on the one side with a twisted grace message that makes them believe they do not need to be turned and cooked with the Truth of Torah! So what happens is that they simply tickle ears in order to stoke a flame of false passion while they are indeed destroying the entire batch!

 Ephrayim was making the sovereigns glad with their evil – they were not correcting corrupt practices but in their wickedness they kept all under the delusion that everything was ok!

How are you at ‘winking’ so to speak at the evil and lawlessness around you – are you confronting the evil and delusion that many are under thinking that they are ok in their unturned state? Let us not be a cake unturned as we allow the ‘heat’ or trials of life develop in us endurance that we may become complete lacking nought!

2 – A SIMPLE DOVE WITHOUT HEART (v11)

A ‘simple’ dove – the word used here for simple is פָּתָהpathah’ (Strong’s H6601) and means ‘easily deceived/ enticed/ to be simple or to be in a state of holding a wrong view about a situation’. Ephrayim was easily deceived and enticed into a mode of pagan influenced worship. It also means to be naïve – and boy how many today are so naïve about the corrupted practice of Christianity as a supposed means of pure worship, when it is nothing more than a man-made twisted blend of truth and pagan influence, which according to Torah is clearly an abomination in the eyes of יהוה. Ephrayim, which represents us today had become naïve and in their naïve state they called to Mitsrayim and went to Ashshur. They had gone to the world for advice and learnt their ways as they were without heart or rather understanding – the very thing we are to seek from יהוה:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:1-6 “My son, if you accept my words, And treasure up my commands with you, 2 so that you make your ear attend to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 for if you cry for discernment, Lift up your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek her as silver, And search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, And find the knowledge of Elohim. 6 for יהוה gives wisdom; Out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Instead of looking to the Truth and the very Word of יהוה they turned to the world. They made alliances with the world’s systems and blended in to fit in, which in the end would destroy them! Let us not be naïve and simple but diligent in seeking out understanding as it is given in His spoken Word!

3 – A BOW THAT MISSES THE MARK (v16)

Ephrayim have been slack bow” – that is that they have been lazy and sloppy in their duties and in so doing are missing the mark. ‘Torah’ from its root form simply means to aim or point in the right direction and move in that direction – we fix our eyes upon the Perfecter and Author of our faith, יהושע Messiah and we follow His Word as we walk in Him in loving obedience. To be a slack bow speaks of one being deceitful as the Hebrew word used here for slack is רְמִיָּהrâmiyah’ (Strong’s H7423) and means ‘slackness or lazinessbut also means ‘deceit or treachery as in the state or condition of causing something false to be believed as true (in word or action) and so mislead’.

They have been slack and were being misled into believing that which was false to be true! When one is slack you will go where your ears are tickled and where you can get the best treatment that satisfies your individual needs and we see that with so many today who will not partake in community and building the body but rather go wherever they can get something out, never giving of themselves and then move on when they no longer can get their selfish needs met! This is slack worship, unable to ever hit the mark of true worship! This is as a result of pride, where pride puts self first and well others nowhere, and can never then actively engage in doing the duties required of them. May we truly never be sloppy in our service and worship unto יהוה.

4 – GREY HAIRS (v9)

Ok we have discovered what burnt pancakes are; now for the grey hairs. Their strength was sapped by strangers – a stranger in Scripture often speaks of those who are foreigners to the Covenants of Promise – those who do not walk according to the Truth. Ephesians tells us that we who were once far off and foreigners to the Covenants of Promise have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah. Strangers can become as native born – through the Blood of Messiah and then live according to the Torah – walking in the Living Torah - יהושע Messiah! But here it says the strangers have sapped their strength – in other words those who do not walk in the Torah and are not of Elohim easily can drain the strength out of a believer if allowed to. Ephrayim had corrupted themselves by following pagan ways and as a result were paying for it by being sucked dry –to the point where the analogy of grey hairs is used here. They had grey hairs and didn’t even know it!  As we said earlier that grey hair is often referred to as a picture of wisdom and so here it is saying that Ephrayim had or rather were supposed to have the wisdom of Elohim, yet they didn’t even know it as they were so steeped in falsified worship programs that were killing them. Today we see this sad picture in many who have sincerely been going along in adhering to countless man-made formulas of worship be it in Christianity or Rabbinical Judaism and earnestly believe that they are in fact walking in righteousness, yet do not even realise that they have been hoodwinked by Satan!

Let us look at some of the grey hairs of Ephrayim that needed to be dealt with:

A – GREY HAIR OF FALSEHOOD (V2)

When some grow cold spiritually and lack perseverance through the trials of life that are designed to strengthen them and build character in them, they will do whatever it takes to ‘keep up the appearance’ that all is still ok! It is like trying to colour away the grey hairs and feel better about themselves – you can colour all you want – all you have is grey hair that is coloured. They may even say aměn when they are walking right with Elohim, yet will give a louder aměn when they are not right with Elohim trying to profess that they are ok and walking right.

Titos/Titus 1:16 “They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:8-9 “This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 but in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.

Falsehood must be plucked out – it cannot be coloured away!

B – GREY HAIR OF ADULTERY (V4)

They were adulterers – they followed after idols and worshipped other false deities – this was spiritual adultery that got them divorced. Adultery and idolatry is still very rife today – as people put the world and its ways before יהוה.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, went astray, each one of us has turned to his own way. And יהוה has laid on Him the crookedness of us all. People always want to go their own way!!!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

Like many today Ephrayim by befriending the world was making themselves an enemy of Elohim.

Grey hair of love for the world must be plucked out!

C – GREY HAIR OF PRAYERLESSNESS (V7)

Not one among them calls on Me.

They had forsaken Him and forgotten His Name! Today most do not even call upon יהוה – they may be calling upon false titles and names – that is not calling upon Him – He has a Name and most do not even know it! Therefore these people are prayerless, and even when they do know His Name they rather recite ready-made prayers constructed by man as a means to pray. In Luqas/Luke 11:1 the disciples asked יהושע to teach them ‘to’ pray, not ‘how’ to pray – but ‘to’ pray – I guess that perhaps they too were sick of the vain repetitions that they were taught and instructed to do by the Pharisees! Messiah gave them a model – He did not give another recital but a model of how one can truly pray to The Father and speak from the heart. Repetitions and recitals become a yoke if one is not careful and can lead them to having a prayerless life even whilst they rhyme off many scripted words! We are to pray without ceasing and give thanks in all things – may we truly call upon the Name of יהוה and enjoy a pray-filled life. How is your prayer life – has a grey hair of prayerlessness been sprouting? Pluck it out!

D – GREY HAIR OF WEAKNESS (V9)

As I said strangers had devoured their strength. We are to feed on Him – feed on His Word – our daily Bread that strengthens us. ‘Strangers’ are those things that we often find ourselves feeding on thinking that they are good for us yet are not of Him and bring only further confusion and blindness, and include oral torah’s and traditions and dogmas that can so easily appear as bread yet it is like eating that bread that is only half baked or burnt on one side and raw on the other – it is not good for you and is not the Truth! False Bread will weaken you whilst you think you are getting your fill – it will drain you of your strength and you will not be able to recognise or discern or rightly divide the Truth! We are to be bearing fruit and to do that we must remain or stay in יהזשע, the vine – we are only branches and without the Vine we can do nothing – and so we are to find our strength in Him Alone – Do not add or take away from that which He has given us, if you do – you will find many grey hairs of weakness coming up!

E – GREY HAIR OF FORMALISM (V11)

As we saw how the dove here was described as simple and therefore was deceived into following formalism – following a program or man-constructed means of prescribed worship – having the appearance of great from yet lacking the very power of Elohim. Many are sucked into following patterns of the world as it looks as though it works – there is One way – walk in Messiah – The Living Torah!

F – GREY HAIR OF REBELLION (V13-14)

Ephrayim like many today have strayed from the Truth and transgressed against Him and spoken falsehood against Him! They have the wrong heart attitude and speak twisted truth speaking things that יהוה did not say and speaking them as though He did – that is rebellion and witchcraft!

It is time for the healing Ephrayim to take place and this will require a removal of those ugly grey hairs of destruction and spiritual decline, so that they true grey hairs of wisdom can be a beautiful crown upon our heads. How? By looking in the mirror – the mirror of His Word – each and every day, and allowing ourselves to be turned over and cooked on the other side as we allow the testing of our faith to bring great results – even when the heat is turned up – as we need to be made into that Good Bread presented as acceptable unto יהוה!

Grey hairs and burnt pancakes – not a good combination. May the fire of His Word cook us on all sides and may we be truly be filled with His Good News, never to turn away from it in running after falsehood but remain steadfast in Him.

Perhaps your life has been like a burnt pancake or there are a few ugly grey hairs appearing – wake up and look in the mirror and dress accordingly!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!

Shalom

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