Sunday: Easily Deceived and Senseless

“‘Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless—now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.

Image © Jeff Preston from

Image © Jeff Preston from

When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like birds of the air. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them’” (Hos. 7:11-12, NIV). Read these verses in context. What warning is being given here? What principle can we take from these verses for ourselves?

Ephraim was the name of the younger son of Joseph. Because Ephraim was the name of the principal tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel, the name is applied to the entire kingdom, just as the name Judah was applied to the kingdom in the south. In the above verses, Israel is compared to a senseless bird (compare Jer. 5:21), allowing itself to be an easy prey for the fowler’s net. In this context, her reliance on other nations for help was an act of rebellion against God.

Why? Because an alliance with the mighty Assyrian Empire or ambitious Egypt would require Israel to recognize the supremacy of the gods worshiped by those two superpowers (see also Isa. 52:4Lam. 5:1-6). Going to them would mean, of necessity, turning away from the Lord. What they needed to do was return to the Lord, repent, obey His commandments, and put away their false gods. That was their only hope, not political alliances with pagans.

“The very position of Palestine exposed it to invasion by these two ancient empires. . . . The much-coveted prize for which these powerful empires fought was this highway that connected the rich watersheds of the Nile and the Euphrates. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah were caught in this international counterplay and squeezed between the two rivals. In desperation, without spiritual trust in her God, Israel fatuously appealed first to the one and then to the other for a support that could only turn into a snare to her own national well-being.”—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 908.

It is so easy to seek human aid for our problems instead of seeking the Lord, is it not? Of course, the Lord can use human agents in answer to our prayers. How can we be sure that, in desperate situations and in need of help, we do not make the same mistake that Israel did here? How can we use human aid without, of necessity, turning away from the Lord?



Sunday: Easily Deceived and Senseless — 29 Comments

  1. As human nature we easily fall and decieve like the Israellties and Jewish nations. Remember pray always , submit yourself to the Lord because Satan is like a roaring lions ready to deceive us. God in heaven always merciful and just given the chosen people to come back to Him, and bring us back to
    His fold.

  2. Like many of us when we are in crisis, we go to friends, church members and others but we do not go to God. The people in the text went to Egypt and Assyria but not to God.
    I have been like Ephraim and in my trials I went to others including once going to a casino when I was really desperate to put food on my table. I thank God for His mercy and love for me to cast a net over me and pull back to my senses and Him.



    • Wesley, I understand where you are coming from but I would not discount the importance of our friends and church members in the family of God. There is a notion that some of us call, "The community of believers" where we share and support one another. I believe that God chooses to communicate to us through that community. All too often I have seen individuals ignore the wise counsel that such a God-fearing community gives.

      This idea gives me great courage but also great responsibility. I often present the idea that we are the eyes, ears and hands of God. It is our responsibility to hear the prayers of others, and take Spirit-inspired action in support.

      • Maurice, you are on point with your statement. Too often members are left with unmet needs with the admonition to pray and trust God. While it is true that we should cast our cares on Him, it is also true that we should bear each other's burdens as the early church did. I recall,back in the day, being prayed for, by my Pastor, elders and church family, only to return to a home without food. We should be the eyes, ears and hands of God.

      • Moderators Note: "Please use full names when commenting. Comments may not be published without full names. Thank you."

        There is nothing wrong with going to other peoples for help and advice, but we shall seek God first; Seek first the kingdom of God and His rightousness and all things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

    • I ever been in the same situation resorting to other unspiritual avenues to solve my problems but i have always failed. But GOD hasn't failed in anyway.

  3. When we are senseless meaning we cannot discern. We become victims of deception.

    It is obvious that when you loose your mind you loose everything. This is the situation with Ephraim.

  4. History of people of God is history of mistakes and sin. Climax of Israel history is in rejecton of Jesus. Likewise is our personal history. We are siners. We are saved by rebukes of God.

  5. This lesson is trying to steer us back to memory verse. Memory Text: “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always” (Hosea 12:6, NIV). If we do this in small things we'll be able to do so in desperate, "practice makes perfect." Trusting God is the key. Counting it a privilege to suffer as gold refined by fire. (Hosea 6:3) Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. . . While we wait, we're to continue in the precepts of God with love. In man's impatience we turn toward other opportunities to resolve our issues. If we wait upon The Lord we will prove Him and receive His answer, the best answer. God may work through a community but only if we hope in Him and not wallow in despair out loud to everyone; as the farmer waits for his harvest.

  6. [Moderator's note: Please use your full name]

    Its typical of us living in an era of desperation. A generation that is always seeking fulfilment the easy way not minding the source. We're serving a God of miracle in 7th Day Adventist Church where God has been faithful in meeting our needs as a Church and as individuals yet you see some members running 4rm one church 2 the other, 4rm one prophet 2 the other insearch of miracles. All we just need is 2 approach our God and patiently wait. Any act outside this is rebelion against God.

      • Joseph, the way to win people to Christ is to become their friends. And we should remain their friends even if they do not turn to Christ on cue! However we need to be careful that such friends do not attract us away from Christ. How much influence your friends have on you is your decision.

      • Hello, Joseph--

        Since Christ is our example, I believe making friends outside our faith is part of our Christian walk. Jesus, in fact, went to Zacchaeus' home to fellowship with him and his family. One way to lead someone to Christ may be through fellowship. However, we must be careful with whom we have in our inner circle. Careful thought should be put into who our close confidants are. Even Christ did this. Zacchaeus was not a disciple. Nor were all the disciples part of Christ's inner circle, and even more, not everyone in His inner circle were called His "Beloved." I hope that offers more clarity for you. Be blessed!

      • Joseph, people you call friends are also people you care about and am sure you would like to see in the kingdom with you as well. It will be difficult to share the truth of God with them if they can not embrace you as a friend. Remember, if they perceive you as a friend then they are more likely to welcome your interactions because they are inclined to accept that you care about their welfare. Just because they do not share your faith does not mean they can not be your friend. However, you must be careful because the things, ideas etc that you know compromises the truth are not to be indulged in but respectfully reasoned out so that such friends can be led to see the truth in a loving way. After all, the holiest person made friends with all sinners without sinning. This He did so that sinners might be saved. What a lesson for us to learn! By His grace, may we follow His example.

  7. [Moderator's note: Please remember that this site is run by volunteers who are typically busy people with day jobs. If someone can help Kimberly with this request, please do so.]

    The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 908.
    Could you please tell me the chapter? I have these books on my iPad but the pages are not numbered.

  8. Because an alliance with the mighty Assyrian Empire or ambitious Egypt would require Israel to recognize the supremacy of the gods worshiped by those two superpowers.

    How about our Adventist institutions? Our hospitals seeking accreditation with JCI, our school and colleges seeking accreditation with local universities to get recognition, and health food seeking collaborations. What difference did Israel seeking alliance with Assyrian and Egyptian and our institutions seeking recognition by world body?

  9. There is a lot of difference between an alliance and accreditation. When training professional people educational accreditation is necessary for graduates to be allowed to practice in their chosen profession.

    Alliances and collaborations are not necessarily bad. We live in the real world and we have to interact with real people. We are not on a desert island. For most of my professional life I have worked in Adventist institutions but have studied and collaborated with people in secular institutions. Computer scientists are a bit thin on the ground in Adventist Education institutions in Australia, and it has been necessary for me to collaborate with non-Adventists, simply to have someone to share my research with. My collaboration with folk in other institutions has been both rewarding and challenging. The interaction I have had with fellow researchers has given me a great insight into how the secular world perceives Christianity.

    Having said that, I also recognize that care must be exercised in such collaboration. My comments should not be taken as saying that all collaboration is good. We need to seek guidance on whether a collaborative environment will be beneficial or not.

  10. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for dotrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
    Rom 15:4 For whatever things were wrtten before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scripture might have hope.
    Ispiration also says that, Prophets wrote less for their time, but more for our time.
    What I get from this lesson is that we warned and cautioned not to walk the path of Isreal. God Chose Isreal(old Testament church) for purpose, to spread the Word of God to the entire world. Did they accomplish this? NO! Why? They walked not according to the will of God. We see nation of Ireal being dived into two kingdoms later on being scattered into the gentile world until this very day.But God still purposes His church today ( spiritual Isreal to accomplish His work.
    But how can we do this if we continue commiting spiritual adulterly? God desires us to be faithful to Him no matter what. He is calling us to wait upon Him always.
    When Isreal was pure in the sight of God, She conquered other nations that stood in her way, but when she lost her purity, a small nation AI(spelling) deafeted her. This aroused the leader fo find out why they were deafeted. It was discovered that Achan had taken accured things form Babylon. Achan and family had to be removed(killed) for Isreal to remain pure once more.Valley of Achor as door of Hope.
    We, too need to remove Achans in our families and churches in order to be victors abd be used by God to advance His Kingdom to the perishing world. We will never be able to attck sins of Babylon when Babylon is in our midst.
    The SDA church is to prclaim the msg of "Come out her My peole" The remedy to attain to this is Purification. When the church is purified, then she can attack and finish the work that Isreal did not.
    Let us pray that God gives us His Spirit in order to return to Hin and wholly wait upon Him.
    In Isaaih 62:1-5, the Lord is saying,For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace.......until her righteousness goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burns......'
    Be blessed.

    • Renford, from what I have seen the business of weeding the church of tares is a dangerous business at best. As Jesus said, "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service" (Jn. 16:2 NKJV). The problem is that quite often as we have seen in the Bible and throughout history the persecutors invariably all believe they are right and that they have the mandate to cleanse the church of sinners but usually the truth of the matter is the other way around with the persecutors being the ones who are wrong instead.

      In fact, the idea of an Achan in the camp will be the concept cherished by many Christians that will precipitate the persecution of God's people in the last days. So rather than doing that I believe we should be about our Father's business by being a positive influence in the world and a witness to what God is really like, "for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45 NKJV). Unless there is obvious gross sin involved we should leave the job of weeding to God who can judge the situation correctly and deal with it the best way possible.

      I think we as a church need to heed what Jesus told his disciples about weeding:

      The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him,`Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' He said to them,`An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him,`Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said,`No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'" (Matt. 13:24-30 NKJV)

      • Tyler, I cherish your explanation. And to add to that I like to point out that God does not really need our help in helping Him save souls by persecuting, forcing etc. All He wants us to do is make ourselves available to be used as messengers to deliver a message. He will do the rest Himself, i.e. conviction, avenging, persuading, you name it. If we are humble enough to yield to His instructions, He will use us to accomplish that which He desires according to His will. It is incredible for me to fathom persecution of anyone when we do not know what is in their hearts. Only God can read and judge hearts so only He should be able to decide such matters.

  11. Renford, I hear what you are saying, but I think that the greatest sin of the Israel was that they were more interested in national identity than in sharing the message that God had given to them. The Gospel is less about us and more about others.

    We need to remember that Christ risked everything to save sinners. His life was not a little play act to illustrate how to live a good life. He risked all for us. Likewise we need to share the Gospel and that means going out and becoming friends with real people who do not love Christ. Love is something that can only be shared by personal contact, not by self-centred introspection.

  12. Tyler, I appreciate your comment. What I meant as the 'Valley of Achor' as door of hope, is not us in the church doing the weeding. The Lord Himself does that. The church(SDA-modern Israel) has to be purified before it can go into the Loud Cry.
    We must bear in mind what inspiration says in PP 725.'That which the Lord purposed to do with Isreal will accomplish it by His church today ...'(SDA). Israel was a nation God Himself put aside for spreading the Word of God to other nations, but failed to live up to the call. Because of apostesy, Isreal was scatered from her holy land of promise into gentile world to date.
    Matthew 13 is exactly what the valley of Achor depicts in our time. Purity for His church today is paramout. 1Peter 4:17 affirms also. Read also Isaiah 66:19-21.
    Our prayer as individuals and as a church at large is to hold on to what 'thus says the Lord' if we are to go forward as a pure church to battle.

  13. Israel forgot how the Lord delivered them from the cruel and tyrannical rule of pharoah, led them through the desert, dried the red sea and brought down Jerico and ushered them in the land flowing with milk and honey.During this period God was their pillar of fire,their provider of manna,spring of waters,commander,Lord and King.Their existence and all their being was GOD.They never depended on flesh.

    Now because they were confronted with the eminent danger of attack from the Assyrians and Egyptians and other tribes and nations they resorted to compromising their belief by getting into alliances with heathen nations thereby religious prostituting with their false gods and worship,forgeting their Deliverer.

    Be careful. Cowards will never inherit the kingdom of God. Often when we are very ill or our close relatives are at the point of death, we forget our God and run to Witch doctors and witch finders for solutions instead of the life giver.

  14. Interesting and terrifying at the same time. Ephraim is senseless because she turns to the nations that lack Godly substance for assistance.

    In this age, the challenge similar to that of Ephraim which the Church is faced with concerns association with other denominations. It is a known fact that most of the denominations that seek close association with our Church are saturated with heresies. The risk of embracing these heresies as the process of close association takes shape is also well documented. As a result of such fears, some Church members have often avoided interdenominational meetings.

    I find this to be a paradox because while we fear contamination from other denominations, we expect the very people to accept invitations to our evangelistic meetings. It's complex to me. I wonder, if somebody has an idea how this matter can be procured.

    • John, very good point. However, if we accept the principle that Jesus method is the best then our fears are not justified. As a Jew, Jesus did not allow the ungodliness of the gentiles and for that matter sinners to prevent Him from interacting with them. In fact, Jesus even entertained questions (interaction) with satan when the occasion arose. What Jesus did not do was to compromise the truth. If we know the truth, that should be the more reason to mingle with these denominations so that we can share. The only danger is we must be careful not to compromise what we know to be the truth. It is therefore very necessary to search the scriptures and know the truth before we venture out. Armed with the truth and with The HS leading, we should not fear heresies but overcome them. It will be a blessing for many souls.

  15. People lets remember the effectiveness of salt and our commission to be the salt of the earth. Salt is only effective when it comes in contact with something! Question- how are we impacting others that we come in contact with??? We can't afford to compromise our principles or our Christ given mandate to be politically correct in this late hour of earths history.

  16. Gen 19: 19, 20: Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”
    Is God a compromising god? Why is he always willing to make deals with his rebellious people? what a God - I can't understand him.


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