3 “They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir
5 On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine,
and he joins hands with the mockers.
6 Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.
This chapter is a continuation of chapter six titled Israel Unrepentant which fits what we are reading above. It begins with even stronger words and is a continuation of chapter five’s last verse
11 “Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. “Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
1 whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed.
They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets;
2 but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.
So it is clear He is talking about both the northern kingdom as well as the southern kingdom. What is being described is the non-belief in God’s government which is the core cause of all Israel’s iniquity. They behaved as if God could not see it or would not heed it. Given an comparison to a baker, we are given a comparison of their hearts, being like an oven, were inflamed by evil desires. The one thing they could have done to change their fates was to turn to God for help, but He was far from their thoughts and hearts.
In their own way they treasured their own lusts even when it would break out into sin. It all began when they became adulterers chasing after other gods and idols. They ignored the God of their forefathers. The result of all this sin being embraced was one king after another falling victim to the passions of the people. Four kings were murdered or overturned with forty years (2 Kings 15) and no one (kings or the people) called upon God.
To call upon God is to cry to Him for help and relief, seeking safety and deliverance through Him. It is not so different for us today. As Paul said
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
In trouble? Your heart is in a bad place? Turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. And don’t wait.