2nd of the 4th month 2020/2021.
Shalom Covenant family;
As I was going through the book of Hoshěa/Hosea, I was once again gripped by the many powerful lessons that we can learn from this Book. And I was stirred to dig further into Chapter 7, and expand on a message that I had previously done, on this passage, 9 years ago..
How many of you love cake or pancakes etc.? I am sure most of you do.
Well, for those who do love a bit of confectionery, let me ask you the following:
What if you were given a burnt cake or pancake to eat, or even worse than that, you were presented with a burnt cake that, when trying to cut into it, you found that it was still uncooked in the middle or, you were given a pancake that was burnt on one side yet was still raw and uncooked on the other?
I am sure you that would throw it out and reject it or even spit it out as soon as you tried to taste it! Keep that picture in your mind, as we go along..
Another picture I would like you to consider, is one of grey hairs.
As one grows older, it is inevitable that grey hairs begin to make themselves known and as we know, we are told in the Proverbs of Shelomoh, the following:
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.”
Considering these words, what if you find that you are grey and strong – does that make you pleasurable and brilliant…? Jokes aside…
Grey hair, in Scripture, is very much linked to the picture of ‘wisdom through age’, but it can also picture for us a decline in physical health, or a picture of one’s life that is nearing its end, as we take note of how 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 they can also 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..
Now that you have these two pictures in your mind, let me continue with this message called, “GREY HAIRS AND BURNT PANCAKES”, where I would like us to look at the stern words of יהוה, that we find in the Book of Hoshěa, when יהוה was speaking of the crookedness of Ephrayim and, in doing so, giving us the ability to learn a great deal from this extremely powerful passage..
Please read Hoshěa/Hosea 7.
This message title of ‘GREY HAIRS AND BURNT PANCAKES’, will make more sense, as we go through this message!
As we look at this passage, what do we see happening, whenever יהוה would heal Yisra’ĕl, His chosen and called out ones?
The crookedness of Ephrayim is uncovered!
The crookedness of Ephrayim is exposed and is shown up for what it truly is.
All the falsehood and wickedness of Ephrayim is revealed and so, the theme of this chapter, is that יהוה had set aside a time to heal Yisra’ĕl, yet they simply revealed their true motives.
And this is a fitting picture of what we see happening at large today – where the true motives of the hearts of those who claim to be children of Elohim are clearly being revealed..
In Scripture, we take note that the use of the name Ephrayim, is often used as a picture of the Northern Kingdom, collectively describing for us the Northern 10 tribes, whose capital was Shomeron (Samaria), which was in the allotted territory of the tribe of Ephrayim..
In Miḵah/Micah 1:5 we are told that the transgression of Ya’aqoḇ was Shomeron.
Omri, the wicked father of Aḥaḇ, established Shomeron as the new capital of the House of Yisra’ĕl.
To give a little background to the history of Shomeron and its establishment in Yisra’ěl, let me remind you of the following:
Omri was the 6th king of the House of Yisra’ĕl and he reigned 6 years in Tirtsah, in opposition to Zimri, who had set himself up as king, and then he reigned for a further 6 years in Shomeron, where he bought the hill of Shomeron from Shemer.
I find this very interesting, in itself, as we understand the wickedness of Omri:
The number 6 is the number of man – and with him being the 6th king of Yisra’ĕl and reigning 6 years, in two different places, we can, metaphorically, see a picture of the reign of the evil one being taught as law: 6 – 6 – 6..
By the time Omri came on the scene, around 48 years after Yaroḇ’am began to reign, Yisra’ĕl had been heavily steeped in mixed worship, and his line came to a complete end at the death of his granddaughter, Athalyahu, who had tried to destroy all the offspring of the reign of Yehuḏah when her son was killed.
She was the daughter of Aḥaḇ who had married Yehoram, the king of Yehuḏah!
Omri, further introduced and established many laws that his son Aḥaḇ and Izeḇel, his Phoenician daughter in law, enforced upon Yisra’ĕl.
Under Omri’s wicked rule, Yisra’ĕl continued to compete with the Torah of יהוה, to the point where the Torah of יהוה was almost forgotten and was cast aside, and as a result, Yisra’ĕl was eventually divorced and scattered over all the earth, in the 9th year of the reign of the 19th king of the House of Yisra’ěl, whose name was Hoshěa, the son of Ělah, who reigned over Yisra’ĕl in Shomeron and did evil in the eyes of יהוה!.
Coming back to Omri: he was no different from the wicked kings who had gone before him, however, he grew worse than all those who reigned before him, as they all sought how they could turn people away from following יהוה, by implementing their daily wicked practices.
The result of all this wickedness, is that יהוה caused each of the kings and their families to be slain by another, so that none would be left of the wicked rulers and their families..
We have no record of who Omri’s father was, as it is nowhere to be found in Scripture, showing us just how wicked this man was, that יהוה did not even allow the record of his father and birth to be written and recorded!.
Omri established Shomeron as the new capital of the House of Yisra’ĕl, and the place/name שֹׁמְרוֹן Shomeron – Strong’s H8111 means, ‘watchtower, great watchman, the most guarded’ which he bought from שֶׁמֶר Shemer – Strong’s H8106 which means, ‘preserved, kept’ and also has the meaning of, ‘lees, dregs, aged wine’, in referring to the dregs at the bottom of the barrel.
Ad by him setting up his own wicked reign and capital for the House of Yisra’ĕl, we can see, metaphorically, how those who reject the Torah of יהוה, in order to walk in their own selfish ways, can be likened to those who earnestly watch over and guard the dregs of the traditions and dogmas of man, by setting up their own high places of mixed abominable worship!.
Under the reign of Omri, Yisra’ĕl expanded a great deal and were physically strengthened, in acquiring much growth and prosperity, by extending their power to the east, beyond the Yardĕn, and they gained control over the king’s highway, which provided access to a steady stream of luxury goods, gold, silver and tin, that was exchanged between Arabia and Mesopotamia.
Under his reign, Yisra’ĕl was commonly known as the “House of Omri”, and was continued to be known as this, long after his death.
This empire was further expanded by his wicked son Aḥaḇ and Izeḇel, which portrayed a long period of apostasy from יהוה and the turning of the people toward serving Ba’al – the Phoenician sun-deity of fertility.
This wickedness continued to grow and eventually, we see in Scripture, the effect and punishment of sin being carried out, as Yĕhu slaughtered the 70 sons of Aḥaḇ!
70 is a significant number in Scripture, as we have previously discussed in our Torah portions, that the number 70 is a number that represents the fullness of the whole House of Yisra’ĕl and by Aḥaḇ’s 70 sons being slaughtered, we see how the sons of the wicked one will be put to death, while the remnant of the faithful will be established, as the whole House of Yisra’ĕl would be restored in the Blood of Messiah!
Omri’s wickedness also infected Yehuḏah, as his granddaughter Athalyahu married Yehoram, the son of Yehoshaphat, and he did evil in the eyes of יהוה..
The book of Miḵah/Micah is a book that contains a very stern warning against the state of apostasy that Yisra’ĕl was in, as he addresses the sick corruption, injustice and the clear unfaithfulness to יהוה, as they had followed after the ways of the nations, instead of walking in the Torah of Elohim, and in many ways, corrupted their worship unto יהוה, by trying to follow their own set of laws that had been devised by corrupt officials.
This book still proclaims a stern warning today, against those who refuse to walk in the Torah of Elohim, by choosing to follow the laws of man, and one of the verses that struck me, when considering the transgression of Shomeron and the wicked king, Omri, is:
Miḵah/Micah 6:16 “For the laws of Omri are strictly observed, and all the works of the house of Aḥaḇ, and you walk in their counsels. Therefore I give you for a ruin, and your inhabitants for a hissing, and let you bear the reproach of My people.”.
Omri’s statutes and laws are, in many ways, still being strictly observed today, in the form of the establishment of humanism and materialism, giving people an assumed right to rule themselves, while rejecting and forsaking the Torah of יהוה.
The ‘gospel’ of mammon is tickling the ears of the masses, who are turning a deaf ear to the truth and reject the proper hearing of the Torah and, in the process, they cling fast to the vain and empty traditions of man and teach and establish, as their own “laws of freedom”, the dogmas of man that has cast the Torah of יהוה behind them..
When Messiah came and spoke to the Shomeroni woman, at the well in Shomeron, and offered her the True Living Water, He, in a sense, came to proclaim His coming for the lost and scattered sheep; and at that time, both the scattered House of Yisra’ĕl and the House of Yehuḏah had been corrupted in their worship, as the ‘laws of Omri and the works of Aḥaḇ’ had seriously infected the whole body, and the worship that was being offered up, on both the hills of Shomeron and Yerushalayim were false, and Messiah said to the woman, the following:
Yoḥanan/John 4:21-23 “יהושע said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Yerushalayim, worship the Father. 22 “You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because the deliverance is of the Yehuḏim. 23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him.”.
The laws of Omri and the works of Aḥaḇ represent for us today the ‘rule of self’, where each individual is able to choose how he or she wants to worship, and by doing so, they justify their corrupted and wicked worship practices, as being acceptable, being blinded under the veil of inherited lies and traditions!.
I hope that this brief summary on Shomeron helps you get a clearer understanding in regards to the Word of יהוה, exposing the evil deeds of Shomeron.
At the beginning of the book of Hoshěa/Hosea, we are told that the Word of יהוה came to Hoshěa, in the days of Uzziyah, Yotham, Aḥaz, and Yeḥizqiyah, sovereigns of Yehuḏah, and in the days of Yaroḇ‛am son of Yo’ash, sovereign of Yisra’ěl.
Yaroḇ’am, son of Yo’ash, was the 13th king of the House of Yisra’ěl and Yeḥizqiyah, also known as Ḥizqiyahu, was the 12th king of the House of Yehuḏah, who began to reign in the 3rd year of the Hoshea, the last king of the House of Yisra’ěl..
The reason for me mentioning this, is to highlight the timing of the book of Hoshěa/Hosea and how the Word of יהוה was made clear to the House that was to be scattered for her crookedness and transgressions, along with the message of hope, as the scattered House of Yisra’ěl, metaphorically referred to as Ephrayim, would be called to return and be healed!.
At the beginning of Hoshěa/Chapter 7, יהוה made it clear that whenever He would heal Yisra’ěl, the crookedness of Ephrayim would be uncovered and the evil deeds of Shomeron!.
With the meaning of Shomeron being, ‘chief watchmen’, what we see being revealed here, in this Chapter, 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.
Ephrayim were a people with no integrity!.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘falsehood’, in Hoshěa/Hosea 7:1, is שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, ‘deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies’, and comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, ‘to do or deal falsely, lie’.
Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14 “Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.”.
In the days of Yirmeyahu we also take note of how wicked the state of Yisra’ĕl was as people twisted their words and did not keep their word that had been spoken to others!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:3-6 “And they bend their tongue like a bow. Falsehood, and not truth, prevails on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they have not known Me,” declares יהוה. “Let everyone beware of his neighbour and not trust any brother. For every brother catches by the heel, and every neighbour walks with slanderers. “And everyone deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood, and have wearied themselves to crook. “You live in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me,” declares יהוה.”
Through the false and misleading messages, we see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood! A falsehood that has been so ingrained in them, as we are able to see, through the mirror of the example given to us in Yirmeyahu, being a clear reflection of the state of falsehood that prevails on the earth today!.
The state of Yisra’ěl was being made very clear – they were wicked and corrupt!
Thieves came in and robbers raided outside, highlighting that no proper right-ruling and justice was being administered.
In many ways, we could see how this House had become a den of robbers, so to speak, and with that picture in mind, we can be reminded of how our Master turned over the tables of the moneychangers that had been set up in the Temple, and He chased the thieves out..
Their wicked deeds were being uncovered and the Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘uncovered’ comes from the primitive root verb גָּלָה galah – Strong’s H1540 which means, ‘uncover, remove, to be uncovered, disclosed, exposed’.
In speaking of those who pretend with their lips, we are told in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:26 that their evil is disclosed in the assembly. The one who hates and covers his hatred with deceit, will in fact be shown up in the assembly! This has many applications for daily living, as well as the resulting judgement that is coming upon the lawless and all who render vain lip service out of hearts that have little or no regard for the Torah of Elohim!
This exposing will definitely take place when Messiah returns and every eye shall see Him, and many who are covered with deceit will cry out to the Master, with their plea for entrance into the Kingdom, through their vain and lawless works, shall be exposed on that day as having been haters of Elohim and not lovers, as He shall declare to them that He does not know them!!!
Many people today are rendering a vain lip service, in their falsified confession of faith, while their actions reveal otherwise, as their lack of walking in the Torah reveals that the Torah is not in their mouth, nor in their heart; and if the Torah is not laid up in one’s heart then what is?
And because of the deceit of lawlessness, they are not turning back to the One who heals!
This is a sad picture of so many today, who are, in many ways, by their clinging to lawlessness, refusing to turn back and be healed, showing that they lack true integrity!.
Ephrayim had come to the point of being exposed as having no integrity!
Integrity is described as a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values, which speaks of being incorruptible, complete, honest and undivided and loyal.
This was certainly not the description that was being given here, of Ephrayim!.
In facing an integrity test, the majority of people today would certainly fail – how about you?.
Ephrayim 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 and His Torah.
His favour, or grace, is not for those who willingly choose to reject His Torah.
This is a clear picture of a sinful reign who were being lawless.
The 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 in Hoshěa/Hosea, 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 that are contained herein..
One of the pictures that we clearly see being represented, is in the process of baking bread, or the lack thereof, in order to do it correctly!
יהושע compared the reign of the heavens to the good leaven that permeates the whole batch of dough, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:33, and in the making of bread and the baking process, there does come a time for the dough to stop rising and this is accomplished through the application of the right amount of 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 will 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 at all..
Now, with Ephrayim being used as a clear metaphor for the dispersed 10 tribes – the scattered seed – we take note, that since sin was not being ‘burnt out’, so to speak, by them not living according to the Torah, the lukewarm “religiousness” that had developed and remained, only promoted the lawlessness to fester and as a result, caused it to continue to infect the entire dough, in a negative way.
As a result of this happening over many centuries, what we see today, is the “church” that this lifestyle of lawlessness has, in one way, mushroomed into, as it became syncretised and 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 that is worthless and will be thrown out and destroyed..
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 from lawless and their corrupted living and no one called upon יהוה.
Their worship was so corrupted, in order to suit self and they had forsaken the need to call upon His Name! Why? Because they had mixed their worship with the nations.
Ephrayim got so entangled with the world and were so 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..
Verse 4 tells us very clearly that they were all adulterers.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘adulterers’ comes from the root word נָאַף naaph – Strong’s H5003 which means, ‘to commit adultery, adulterer, adulterers, adulteress’ and it is written in the ‘piel form’, which expresses the intensive or intentional action and figuratively this word renders the meaning of, ‘idolatrous worship’.
Yisra’ĕl had adulterated themselves through the idolatrous worship of the false pagan ones of the nations, as well as in their vain attempts at worshipping יהוה according to the ways of the nations, which he strictly prohibits:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:9 “When you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations.”.
The picture of a baker that ceases stirring the fire and falls asleep, is a picture of not being watchful and diligent in guarding one’s required duties. They had become lazy and were not following the correct procedures.
In many ways, we are able to see the imagery that us used here, can reflect a picture of one who does not follow a recipe when baking. And I am sure that we know what happens when you do not follow a recipe, when trying to bake something – disaster!!!
The baker was not watching the heat and had fallen asleep!
This is a picture of so many people today, as their continued stubborn refusal to let go of their lawless lifestyle, is pictured as one who is asleep and Sha’ul makes it very clear to us that it is time to wake up!
Romiyim/Romans 13:11 “And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for us to wake up from sleep, for now our deliverance is nearer than when we did believe.”.
Ephrayim had become unstable and were divided in their worship and Ephrayim’s struggle to maintain a secure footing in the truth, is pictured for us, in this passage, in 4 ways:.
Let us now take a closer look at these pictures of depravity and lawlessness!.
1 – A CAKE UNTURNED! (v8)
Verse 8 gives us a very interesting description of a corrupted nation.
They had become a cake unturned.
There was much religious activity going on, yet all of it lacked reality – it lacked the truth.
The picture that we have been given 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 the burnt pancakes that I refer to.
Perhaps 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 when making a pancake today.
What this shows us today, is the ‘stinking thinking’ of how many people think that they can serve Elohim and idols at the same time.
Ephrayim simply followed the crowd, and followed the masses, as it seemed to be better.
We may often hear the vain excuse or false reasoning that is done by so many today, when they say things like, “They all can’t be wrong!”
The sobering reality is… “Oh yes they can!!!”.
Being half baked, represents being unbalanced and unstable, while thinking that you are fine and perfectly normal, yet do not realise that you are burning or are headed that way!.
They were becoming burnt on the one side!
That is to say, that they were so immersed into the falsehood of twisted truth, which is no truth at all, and 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 totally uncooked.
That is to say, that they had no Torah teaching, as they had done away with it.
And so, just as we see today, the 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, by saying it doesn’t apply to them anymore and they believe that it is done away with.
It is 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 that we see being described here in this passage – and this picture represents a divided heart..
To the assembly in Laodicea, יהושע told them that they were neither hot nor cold, but they lukewarm and that He would spit them out!
There are too many today, who are riding the fence, so to speak, as they want to claim all of the blessings in the Word, yet waver so quickly between varying opinions, assuming that they can serve יהוה without actually walking in His Torah, and, as a result of this, they have never allowed the ‘heat’ of the Torah to make them into the fine bread that is to be waved and acceptable unto Elohim!
This picture is none other than a divided heart approach to worshipping the Father, as we know that true worshipper’s worship in Spirit and Truth, whereas false worshippers do whatever suites and pleases them, revealing that they are likened to unturned cakes!!!.
What are some of the symptoms of being half baked or half done or… being an unturned cake?
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 supposed to throw off
C – Your experiences and pleasures are greater in the world than they are in the body of Messiah and in fellowship with the set-apart ones.
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, in order to be a light to the nations!.
The picture of the baker who is careless and falls asleep and ruins the batch, and who doesn’t work or knead the dough properly and leaves the oven on to burn the bread, represents the false prophets, teachers and leaders that are leading many astray.
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 a false passion, while they are indeed destroying the entire batch with the heat of falsehood, deception and lawlessness!.
Ephrayim was making the sovereigns glad with their evil – they were not correcting corrupt practices, but in their wickedness, they were all kept under the delusion that everything was ok – the delusion of lawlessness!.
Ephrayim had mixed themselves among the peoples!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘mixes’ in verse 8 comes from the verb בָּלַל balal – Strong’s H1101 meaning, ‘to mingle, mix, confuse, confound’ and a word that is derived from this root verb is בָּבֶל Baḇel – Strong’s H894, which was the name of the site where יהוה confused the language of all the earth, and so, בָּבֶל Baḇel can best be understood as meaning, ‘confusion (by mixing)’.
Confusion certainly does arise when the True and pure Word is mixed with man-made doctrines, dogmas, theologies and traditions that aspire to build for themselves a ‘tower’ of self-identification!
The wicked and worthless will often take advantage of the confused systems of the world that feed the flesh – that is those who are still caught up in ‘Baḇelon’ so to speak!
The word אוֹן On – Strong’s H204 was the name of a city in Mitsrayim which bordered Goshen and was the centre of sun-worship, where Poti-Pherah lived, who was a priest of On and was the father-in-law of Yosĕph.
Now, when we hear the term Baḇelon – from the words Baḇel and On – we are further able to understand the concept of the need for so many to come out of the lies and confusion of sun-worship, which many are being led astray into submitting to, under the influence of the sons of Beliya’al who are teaching as teachings the commands of men!
Come out of the confusion of mixing with sun-worship!!!.
Let us not be a cake unturned, as we allow the ‘heat’ or trials of life to develop in us an endurance, so that we may become complete lacking nought!
Before looking at the picture grey hairs, being given to us in verse 9, I will first highlight the other 2 pictures that are being given to us here in this passage from verse 11-16..
2 – A SIMPLE DOVE WITHOUT HEART (v11)
A ‘simple’ dove!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as simple comes from the root verb פָּתָה pathah – 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 were enticed into a mode of pagan influenced worship.
This word also means to be naïve – and boy, how many people 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 a falsified interpretation of the truth and pagan influence, which, according to Torah, is clearly an abomination in the eyes of יהוה..
Ephrayim, which represents the Lost Sheep of Yisra’ěl, 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, they had no understanding because they neglected to do what was commanded.
They lacked wisdom and understanding – the very thing that 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 had turned to the world.
They made alliances with the world’s systems and blended in, in order to fit in, which, in the end, would destroy them!
Let us not be naïve and simple, but rather, be diligent in seeking out understanding, as it is given in His spoken Word, and let us get a wise heart, as we love יהוה with all our heart!!.
They were a simple dove without heart!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘without’ is the root word אַיִן ayin – Strong’s H369 which means, ‘nothing, nought, failed, has gone, without’.
What is worth taking note of, is that this root word has the same phonetic sound as the root word that means ‘eye’, which is the root word עין ayin – Strong’s H5869 which means ‘eye’.
The difference between the two, is that the word for ‘eye’ begins with the letter ‘ayin’ – ע – while the root word for ‘nothing’, begins with the letter ‘aleph’ – א.
What becomes clear, as we understand the crookedness of Ephrayim that was being exposed, is that they had taken their eyes off of the Truth!
They had become simple by looking to the ways of the nations and turning their eyes away from the Torah of Elohim!
They had turned their eyes to falsehood and, as a result, had become simple.
In a psalm that celebrates the wonder and joy of the Torah, we see the psalmist making the following plea:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at falsehood, and revive me in Your way.”
We are clearly warned in Scripture, to not become simple, by turning away from the Truth!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:32 “For the turning away of the simple kills them, and the complacency of fools destroys them.”.
Simple people lack heart – they lack understanding, as they neglect to do what is commanded, as we recognise that understanding comes in the doing of the Word, and when anyone compromises the pure standard of the Torah, they lack heart and will find themselves easily giving in to the pressures of the world around them and look to worldly ways and reasonings, as to how they can assimilate a form of worship that they deem acceptable to Elohim, when in fact, it does not measure up to the clear plumb line of His Truth!.
It is a heart thing!
We know in Scripture we are told that the heart is desperately sick:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it? 10 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
The Torah of Elohim is to be upon our hearts in order to do it and when we neglect this truth then our own crooked hearts will lead us into folly and destruction. If we guard our hearts and walk in the Torah of Elohim that is to be upon our hearts then we will walk in His wisdom and prosper!
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, ‘inner man, heart, mind, understanding’.
Our hearts are to be healthy!!!
It is a heart thing!
What is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts, giving us a healthy heart!.
The Greek word for ‘heart’ is καρδία kardia – Strong’s G2588 and this word denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life, and is understood as the centre and seat of the soul and mind; as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours.
It refers to the innermost part of a man – that which drives and directs a man’s steps, thoughts and purpose! Our heart is reflected in what we do, and it is a heart thing!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 looks like this:
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority..
Bet – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
In terms of these two pictures, representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are..
It can clearly be expressed as:
THE RULES OF THE HOUSE.
In recognising this, we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most-High, that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House, which He has written on the fleshly tablets of our hearts!.
Even with the word for heart, being expressed as לֵבָב leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ (house), showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart”
To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!.
As we consider this pictograph, in terms of Ephrayim becoming a simple dove without heart, we are able to see that despite the Good Shepherd calling His lost sheep back, they refused to turn and be healed.
The Good Shepherd calls for a backslidden and lost House to return and obey the rules of the House, which he Himself writes in our hearts.
The folly of fools is deceit and they lack heart and mix, as they have no firm foundation, while those who seek the wisdom of Elohim and guard His Torah, have their feet firmly rooted in The Shepherd and Rock of Yisra’ěl, guarding the Torah of the House, which is set-apartness..
Foolish mixers have strayed from the truth!
To wander or stray from our place of refuge is a picture of wandering away from obedience and the Hebrew word that is used for ‘strayed’, in verse 13, comes from the root word נָדַד naḏaḏ – Strong’s H5074 which means, ‘to retreat, flee, depart, stray, wander, flutter’.
We can therefore see the clear picture of those who ‘stray’ in their walk and are tossed about by various teachings, because of mixing, and become unstable in all their ways, while we who remain steadfast in our obedience to walking in Messiah, find our true rest and shalom in Messiah, despite the raging storms of life that try to beat us down, as we remain in ‘the ark of His presence’!
With the imagery of a simple dove that had strayed, we can be reminded on the words of Shelomoh, in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 27:8 “Like a bird that wanders from its nest, so is a man who wanders from his place.”
The Hebrew word for ‘bird’ is צִפּוֹר – Strong’s H6833 which means, ‘bird, sparrow’, and what is interesting to take not of is the feminine of this word is צִפֹּרָה Tsipporah – Strong’s H6855, which was the name of Mosheh’s wife, whom he had rescued from the shepherds when she came to draw water for her flocks at the well!.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘nest’ is קֵן qen – Strong’s H7064 which means, ‘a nest, room’ and what is worth taking note of, is that the plural of this word is קִנִּים qinniym and is translated as ‘rooms’, in the passage where Noaḥ was commanded to make ‘rooms’ in the ark:
Berěshith/Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with tar.”
The picture of the Ark having rooms in it and the ark being covered with tar inside and out, we are able to see a clear picture of the refuge and rest we are to have in our Master, as we stay in Him who has covered us in His own Blood!.
When we carefully consider how the Hebrew language uses a lot of imagery that would be understood by the hearer, we are able to see how Shelomoh clearly spoke from observation and could use this picture of a wandering bird, as a parable of how a man can wander from his place of rest. He had seen certain ‘wanderers’ and perceived that they had seldom or never prospered.
A wandering bird is likened to a man who is most likely very restless in his being and in his attempts at making constant changes to his unsatisfied position or purpose gains no success from his ‘wandering adventures’!
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah we find a clear prophetic picture of the daughters of Mo’aḇ being like a wandering bird that is thrown out of her nest, when the ‘sent Lamb’ comes!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 16:1-2 “Send a lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela to the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Tsiyon. 2 And it shall be, like a wandering bird, a nest thrown out, so are the daughters of Mo’aḇ at the fords of Arnon.”
The clear picture given here in this text is how those who are not in Messiah will be thrown out of their comfort zones and will be like a wandering bird that has no place to rest..
No matter the battle, we are to stand armed in the Truth, and after having done all, to stand and never leave our post or position in the Master!
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:9 “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
The warning against losing heart is clear – it will make you stink!
We are to stand our ground and not lose heart but be steadfast in our loving-commitment to our King as we guard to do all He has commanded us to, without wavering in the folly of compromise, for only fools will wander from their place!.
Those who reject the need to be obedient to the commands of Elohim have no place of rest and they will be as wanderers among the nations:
Hoshěa/Hosea 9:17 “My Elohim rejects them, because they have not obeyed Him, so that they become wanderers among the nations!”
What becomes clear here in this parable of Shelomoh is that the picture of a wandering bird should cause us to be reminded of the dangers of wandering from the Truth, for when we do so there shall be not secure place of rest and safety!.
Do not become a simple dove that lacks heart!.
3 – A BOW THAT MISSES THE MARK (v16)
“Ephrayim have been slack bow” – that is to say, that they had been lazy and sloppy in their duties and, in so doing, were missing the mark.
The Hebrew word ‘Torah’, from its root form, simply means ‘to aim or point in the right direction and move in that direction’.
We are to 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 that is used here for ‘slack’ is רְמִיָּה râmiyah – Strong’s H7423 which means, ‘slackness or laziness’ but 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 had 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 the proper building up of the body, as they will prefer go wherever they can get something out, while never giving of themselves and when they have gotten what they can, they then move because they can no longer get their selfish needs met!
This is simply a form of slack worship, and it is unable to ever hit the mark of true worship!
This kind of corrupt worship is a result of pride, where pride puts self first and others nowhere, and those who are slack in their worship, can never then actively engage in doing the duties that are required of them.
May we truly learn to never be slack and sloppy in our service and worship unto יהוה..
This word רְמִיָּה râmiyah – Strong’s H7423 is translated as ‘deceit’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 101:7 “He who practises deceit does not dwell in my house; He who speaks lies does not stand in my presence.”
This is a clear warning being given here! Those who are slack will not dwell in the House of Elohim!
Practising deceit and speaking lies and falsehood will keep you out of the House of Elohim!!!
Deceit is clearly associated with lies and hypocrisy – the very things that Elohim hates!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices”.
The image of a ‘slack bow’ is also used in a Psalm that described how wicked the rebellious were:
Tehillah/Psalm 78.57 “But they turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; they twisted like a treacherous bow.”
This word רְמִיָּה râmiyah – Strong’s H7423 is translated here as ‘treacherous’.
This is a clear picture of perverting and twisting the Word of Elohim, and when one does this, through mixed and corrupt worship, they make themselves friends with the world and therefore become enemies of Elohim, who will be destroyed by His flaming arrows of wrath, that is coming upon the disobedient!.
Being described as a slack bow is another way of saying that they were not properly armed for battle and therefore were unable to stand!
We are called to put on the armour of Elohim, and stand firm. If we do not put on His armour of light and guard His Torah, we shall not be able to stand in the day of battle and so, let us be warned against being slack in our duty, as we arm ourselves with The Truth and are able to fight the Good Fight of the belief, being properly dressed in His Torah, guarding our garments of righteousness that He has given us, being equipped to rightly handle the Word and be able to distinguish between the clean and the unclean and between the set-apart and the profane!.
4 – GREY HAIRS (v9)
Ok, so now that we have discovered what burnt pancakes are, or rather, what they represent, and what it means to be simple and slack, let us now take a look at the grey hairs that are being mentioned here.
We are told in verse 9 that their strength was sapped by strangers.
A stranger, in Scripture, often speaks of those who are foreigners to the Covenants of Promise, and represents those who do not walk according to the Truth.
Sha’ul tells us, in his letter to the Ephesians, that we who were once far off and were foreigners and strangers to the Covenants of Promise, have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah.
Strangers can become as native born, just as we all were, through the Blood of Messiah and therefore, having become as a native born, we begin to live according to the Torah, by walking in and staying in יהושע Messiah – the living embodiment of the Torah!.
But here, in Hoshěa/Hosea, it says the strangers had sapped their strength!
In other words, what we can clearly see from this, is that those who do not walk in the Torah and are not of Elohim, can easily 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 they didn’t even know it!.
As we said earlier, grey hair is often referred to, in Scripture, 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 the falsified worship programs that were killing them, that they had become foolish and all the wisdom of the Torah had been lost to 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 they earnestly believe that they are, in fact, walking in righteousness, yet do not even realise that they have been hoodwinked by Satan, who is sapping their strength!.
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’, in order to try to show 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 – but all you will 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, by 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, and that is NOT calling upon Him, for He has a Name and most people, who claim to be calling upon Him, do not even know it!
Therefore, these people are prayerless, and even when they do know His Name, they will rather recite ready-made prayers that are 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 asked how ‘to’ pray! I guess that perhaps they too were sick of the vain repetitions that they were being taught and instructed by the Pharisees!
Messiah gave them a model on how to pray.
He did not give another recital, but rather, he gave us a very clear instruction 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?
If so – 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 only bring further confusion and blindness.
This can 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, while raw on the other – it is not good for you and it 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 in, or stay in, יהזשע, the vine, for 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 was described here as simple and therefore, was deceived into following formalism, by following a program or man-constructed means of prescribed worship, having the appearance of great from, yet lacking the very power of Elohim, because the clear pattern of set-apartness, as given through Mosheh, was neglected and cast aside!
Many are sucked into following patterns of the world, as it looks as though it works.
There is One way – and that is walk in Messiah – which we do by walking in the Torah and walk according to the Spirit, for the Torah is Spiritual!!!.
F – GREY HAIR OF REBELLION (V13-14)
Ephrayim, like many today, strayed from the Truth and transgressed against יהוה and spoke falsehood against Him!
Those who are like a rebellious Ephrayim, have the wrong heart attitude and as a result, they will speak twisted truths, speaking things that יהוה did not say and speaking them as though He did. That is simply rebellion and witchcraft!.
It is time for the healing of Ephrayim to take place and this will require a removal of those ugly grey hairs of destruction and spiritual decline, so that the 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, so to speak, 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 that is 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, as He refines us through His Word and may we be truly be filled with His Good News, being on guard to never to turn away from it, by running after falsehood, but remain steadfast in Him..
Perhaps your life has been like a burnt pancake or you find, when looking intently into the mirror of the Word, that there are a few ugly grey hairs appearing.
If that be the case, then put off the false and put on the Truth and let the grey hairs of the wisdom of Elohim begin to adorn you, as you run in the way of His commands and delight yourself in His Torah!.
Throw off the false and stand armed in the Torah of Elohim, and do not be foolish, simple, slack or unturned, but rather, be wise, fit, equipped and refined!!!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you peace!.