The Unturned Cake
Hosea 7:8
Ephraim, he has mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

The text forms part of the energetic remonstrance addressed by the Spirit of God to Israel at a period of national degeneracy. They embody a reproof; but the homely figure must be deemed most appropriate in the circumstances of the case. What is the exact point of resemblance betwixt Ephraim and the unturned cake? At what stage in the process of baking, or in what circumstances are we to contemplate the cake? Is it when but for a while exposed to the heat of the oven, and therefore when the cake is partly cold and partly hot — exhibiting a vivid representation of that religious lukewarmness and indifferency which is so distasteful to God? Or is the allusion to the cake removed from the oven while yet only partially baked, the lower portions, or the outside, having been converted into bread, while the remainder, or the interior, is still dough, thereby pointing to persons who seek to make a composition betwixt their inclinations and sense of duty, by sometimes yielding to the one, and sometimes striving to fulfil the other? Or is the allusion to the position of the cake, and its state as thence to be inferred — cold upwardly and warm beneath — betokening coldness or disregard to things above, and warmth of affection exclusively to things below? Or is the allusion to a cake left behind in the oven till it is scorched, blackened, and altogether destroyed; representing the condition of those who, being given up and let alone of God, gradually become worse and worse?

I. A REBUKE TO LUKEWARMNESS AND INDIFFERENCY WITH REGARD TO THE THINGS OF GOD AND ETERNITY. In the Christian community there are numbers who are neither bread nor dough. They have enough of Christian profession to exclude them from the designation of heathen, not enough of heartfelt godliness to entitle them to the name of disciples indeed. They have the name, but want the reality. The Christians of the unturned cake are very skilful in evading all impressions of sacredness. It is not enough to profess Christianity, we must also feel and live it.

II. A REBUKE TO THOSE WHO VAINLY IMAGINE THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO SECURE THE SOUL'S SALVATION AND YET GRATIFY TO THE UTTERMOST THE SINFUL PROPENSITIES OF THE FLESH. There are some who occasionally feel, and that profoundly, the claims of Gospel truth and righteousness. But Wait a little. Swiftly passes the morning cloud. The world and the flesh soon resume their ascendency. There are some whose entire life is a uniform and sustained effort to keep up an alliance betwixt the spirit and the flesh; betwixt God and the world; betwixt duty and carnal inclination. They will not follow the Lord fully. God will not tolerate a rival. We must either serve Him altogether or not at all.

III. A REBUKE TO THE COLDNESS AND UNSPIRITUALITY OF PROFESSED BELIEVERS. A cake cold upwards and warm underneath. Its baking may be so conducted that while the under side is intensely heated, the upper part is as cold as when first placed over a fire. So many professors. To the heavens they are cold, to the earth only are they warm.


(James Cochrane, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

WEB: Ephraim, he mixes himself among the nations. Ephraim is a pancake not turned over.

The Spoiled Cake
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