7:8-16 Israel was as a cake not turned, half burnt and half dough, none of it fit for use; a mixture of idolatry and of the worship of Jehovah. There were tokens of approaching ruin, as grey hairs are of old age, but they noticed them not. The pride which leads to break the law of God leads to self-flattery. The mercy and grace of God are the only refuge to which obstinate sinners never think of fleeing. Though they may howl forth their terrors in the form of prayers, they seldom cry to God with their hearts. Even their prayers for earthly mercies only seek fuel for their lusts. Their turning from one sect, sentiment, form, or vice, to another, still leaves them far short of Christ and holiness. Such are we by nature. And such shall we prove if left to ourselves. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.
14. not cried unto me—but unto other gods [Maurer], (Job 35:9, 10). Or, they did indeed cry unto Me, but not "with their heart": answering to "lies," Ho 7:13 (see on Ho 7:13).
when they howled upon their beds—sleepless with anxiety; image of deep affliction. Their cry is termed "howling," as it is the cry of anguish, not the cry of repentance and faith.
assemble … for corn, &c.—namely in the temples of their idols, to obtain from them a good harvest and vintage, instead of coming to Me, the true Giver of these (Ho 2:5, 8, 12), proving that their cry to God was "not with their heart."
rebel against me—literally, "withdraw themselves against Me," that is, not only withdraw from Me, but also rebel against Me.