Some students are frustrated when they live in hostels. Even prisoners experience such sad experiences. When they are served food especially chappati (flat wheat bread) it would be burnt on one side and uncooked on another side; sometimes half-cooked on both sides. In the garbage, there would be whole or torn or squeezed chappatis after meals. The flour is not kneaded properly or chappati is not turned evenly or turned hastily they are not fit for consumption. In the ancient Israel, cakes were prepared by heating slowly one side, turning it and heating on other side; repeated several times. If it is not cooked with diligence, a cook could forget to turn over, it could be burnt one side and uncooked on another side. Such cakes were not fit to be chosen or served or eaten.
Ephraim was the largest tribes among the Northern tribes. The message could be for that tribe for all tribes of Northern Kingdom. Scholars opine that Hosea gave the final message of warning after which they were scattered.
1) Hypocrisy: Ephraim proudly professed Jehovah, but all the while worshipping Baal and Ashtaroth. There would be many who will say Lord, Lord but would be rejected by Him. (Matthew 7:21) Their day-to-day life was compromise of values. In religious places they acted like angels and in other places they were like demons or devils.
2) Half-heartedness: They had divided mind unable to take decision. Elijah challenged the nation who hobble or waver between two loyalties. (I Kings 18:21) Following the Lord, doing His will and pursuing godly vision cannot be done without whole heart and commitment.
3) Hastiness: They were doing all things without faith and consultation with God. Those who have faith are not in haste. (Isaiah 28:16) Those with faith will not blunder or fall into pitfalls or slip. Alas, Ephraim was in a slippery slope.
4) Haughtiness: Ephraim lacked humility to acknowledge their sins, repent and plead for forgiveness. Hosea preached for about forty years under six kings.
Am I like half-cooked cake immature and stubborn?