But for who?

Hosea 7:11–16 (NKJV)

“Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—
They call to Egypt,
They go to Assyria.
Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them;
I will bring them down like birds of the air;
I will chastise them
According to what their congregation has heard.

“Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!
Destruction to them,
Because they have transgressed against Me!
Though I redeemed them,
Yet they have spoken lies against Me.
They did not cry out to Me with their heart
When they wailed upon their beds.

“They assemble together for grain and new wine,
They rebel against Me;
Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me;
They return, but not to the Most High;
They are like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
For the cursings of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.”

This is a litany of brutal criticisms. A dove, while notably gentle, is dim-witted. Ephraim (representing all of Israel) is likened to a dove because they vacillate between allying with Egypt and with Assyria. It’s all just senseless panic. Israel seems to insist on being at enmity with God.

Destruction to them,
Because they have transgressed against Me!
Though I redeemed them,
Yet they have spoken lies against Me.

Even worse, in their chasing after other gods they engage in the barbaric practice of ritual self-mutilation.

So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. — 1 Kings 18:28 (NKJV).

They’re so inept their neighbor laughs at them. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

The Egyptian disrespect for them translates into disrespect for the LORD.

This is why you don’t have to be legalistic to want to behave like a Christian. There’s a difference between doing things for yourself and doing them for the team.

Christians should behave themselves, not because they’ll earn points, but because people are watching and will judge our faith according to our actions.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, — 1 Corinthians 5:20a (NKJV)

Embarrassing our Lord is a form of taking His name in vain.

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

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

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.