The DEEP

Hitting Bottom

The sure-fire way to kill pride.

Hosea 7:4–10 (ESV)

They are all adulterers;
    they are like a heated oven
whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
    from the kneading of the dough
    until it is leavened.
On the day of our king, the princes
    became sick with the heat of wine;
    he stretched out his hand with mockers.
For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue;
    all night their anger smolders;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven,
    and they devour their rulers.
All their kings have fallen,
    and none of them calls upon me.

Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
    Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Strangers devour his strength,
    and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
    and he knows it not.
The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
    yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
    nor seek him, for all this.

This passage likens Israel’s infidelity to an oven, which sustains its fire. They are like a heated oven whose baker ceases to stir the fire … all night their anger smolders; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.

Israel’s passion for infidelity is self-sustaining, even as everything collapses around them.

All their kings have fallen,
    and none of them calls upon me. …
Strangers devour his strength,
    and he knows it not
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
    and he knows it not.

Even as they grow old and weak, they still don’t get it. That’s pride. They want to be the Lord of their lives.

yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
    nor seek him, for all this.

They cling to their pride with all their might. They won’t let go until all their strength is gone.


This is why recovery ministries speak of “hitting bottom.” When someone won’t let go of their pride, the only solution is to destroy it. When their whole life is in ashes, their pride will be in ashes too.

Then, like the prodigal son, they wake up and restoration begins.

The worst moment in their whole life is actually the best one.


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and is eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.