Ephraim mixes himself among the peoples courting the favor of first one country, then another; Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not; yes, gray hairs are sprinkled here and there upon him, and he does not know it. Hosea 7:8-9
I ran across this phrase 'cake not turned' here in Hosea the other day and I stopped to think about it. I pictured this pancake bubbling and sizzling on the griddle, ready to be flipped so it's other side can be cooked, but nobody flips it over. So, what happens? It gets burned and is good for nothing but to be thrown in the garbage. You see, Ephraim was a tribe of Israel and indicative of what happened to all of Israel when they mixed with the heathen people around them and hence, turned away from God.
I think there's an avid warning in here from God. Basically He's saying Don't mix with the world. You see, the world and the culture around us has a very strong appeal. Riches, fame, beauty, success, power, popularity.. whatever it might be that attracts you.
What are you courting today? Is there some area in your life where you are towing the line, flirting with the things of the world? Whether it be something as blatant as considering sex outside of marriage or drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs or stealing something or whether it be something as "innocent" and subtle as watching a TV show or movie that you shouldn't watch or engaging in gossip or cheating on your taxes. If you continue to Flirt with these things, believe me, you'll give in eventually (Take it from someone who knows!)
But then read the rest of the verse. Strangers have devoured his strength and gray hairs are sprinkled upon him and he doesn't know it! I read this as meaning that when you mix with the world, the world steals all your strength and makes you old before your time. You might still be saved and going to heaven, but your life here on earth would have been a waste. Do you know someone like this? I've seen countless "Christians" who have one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world and they are the most miserable people I know. And as they age, they seem to only get more and more depressed and angry. They do indeed seem much older than they are. Don't let that happen to you! Don't be a burned pancake!!! The things of the world will NOT make you happy. It's a lie. I know. Because I've been on both sides and I can honestly say I will NEVER go back.
Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life Matthew 16:26