“Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.” (Hosea 7:8)
Here is a word of warning for all who have ears to hear. Ephraim—and Hosea was clearly using the prominent tribe of Ephraim to refer to the nation of Israel—was compared to a loaf of bread that was not turned over, and thus left uncooked on one side. The reason for this undesirable condition is clear: Israel had mixed herself with the unbelieving nations and now her affections were divided between the things of God and the things of the world.
May God forbid that to be the confession of our lives! Here are two deep, biblical truths for you and I to consider as we meditate on this caustic metaphor that compares the people of God to a flat loaf not turned over:
One side of the loaf remains uncooked
Because the people of Israel refused to give their hearts completely to God, a portion of their hearts remained in unholy rebellion. So it was easy for them to give their hearts to things smaller than God. The “uncooked” portion of their hearts remained cold to the Lord and unaffected by God’s amazing grace; their hearts remained unchanged by God’s everlasting love. Because the loaf remained unturned, only one side felt the holy fire of God’s love, and the unturned side remained in its turned-away condition.
The other side gets burned!
It may seem odd when I say that it is possible to get too much of the holy fire of our faithful God, but when only half of the heart is being cooked in the furnace of God’s fire, it eventually becomes black and brittle and breaks into little pieces. This certainly describes the heart of the Pharisees, who evidenced all the outward expressions of being true children of God, but upon closer inspection revealed that their hearts did not possess what their lips professed. Their hearts could not possess a sincere and sacred love for God because one half remained cold and the other half was burned up.
So . . . let us examine ourselves today, you and I, and ask our Lord, “Is this is my condition—“a flat loaf not turned over”? And if the Spirit of God answers in the affirmative, ask your loving Father to turn your heart toward His heavenly flame. We must remember that we are in this world, but we are not of this world. We are to make a difference in this world by being different from the world, and those who are different from this world are those who have turned totally toward the Lord Jesus Christ in surrendered submission.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!