Hos 7:8-9 Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not.
By financially, religiously, and politically mingling with the surrounding pagan cultures, Israel was becoming diluted without realizing it. Israel began its slide into obscurity more than two centuries earlier when it broke away from Judah following Solomon’s death. According to the book of II Kings, each king of Israel grew increasingly more evil than the one before until Samaria was finally crushed. In their worldly wisdom Israel grew more prosperous. They traded with their neighbors, intermarried, and practiced religious tolerance. To many Americans free trade, free love, and freedom of religion sound like utopian ideals. God was warning Israel that they were self-deluded with grandiose egos. They imagined their prosperity was at their own hands and their fates were their own to decide. A similar attitude is common in America and many other countries today. The reality of Israel’s situation as seen through the eyes of omniscient God was radically different. If Israel’s fall is any indication of God’s response to unfaithfulness then perhaps we should be giving more consideration to the purity of our faith.