“Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense— They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria.”
There are times in Scripture when God will resort to name calling, not as a way to be mean, but as a means of illustrating the behavior of His people. There is that famous passage in Matthew 16 where Jesus calls Peter, Satan. He does this because like the devil, Peter was attempting to stand between Jesus and the cross. Whenever a person obstructs the work of the cross, they are supporting the work of the devil. Here, God uses a different analogy. It may not be quite as striking as referring to a disciple as the devil, but it paints a very clear picture of how God viewed the nation of Israel. He saw them as a silly bird, without any sense. A parallel illustration could have been to compare them to a squirrel, who seems to run around without any real clue of what it is doing.
Israel’s folly was expressed in their unwillingness to trust in the Lord. Instead of resting on the promises of God, they looked for other things to trust in. They believed an alliance with Egypt would protect them from the threat of Assyria. They soon found that trusting in anything other than the Lord, would be like leaning upon a stalk of grass, in hopes of being supported. Israel is not alone in trusting in things that cannot support us. We are constantly faced with difficulties beyond ourselves and often choose to worry, instead of trusting in the promises of God. In essence, we are saying, God cannot be trusted, but our own intellect and hard work will provide a way out of the mess we are in. Oh, silly bird, you are not smart enough, strong enough, or consistent enough to resolve the issues of life. In fact, all the worrying you do will never produce the results you desire. Jesus put it this way,
“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”
Worrying about anything in life is like worrying about being too short. At the end of the day, all the worry in the world will not add an inch to your height. Now I realize that planning and preparation are necessary in life, but I also realize, that we are masters of masking worry behind other things. It is time to take our lives, offer them to God, and trust in His promises, as we seek to fulfill our calling.