As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
One of God’s early promises to Israel was that they would multiply until they were like the stars in the sky, or the grains of sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17). It was a terrible thing for a woman to be barren in Israel, for if she could have no children, then there was no chance she would bear the prophesied Messiah.
Now, in God’s coming judgment, the glory of many children would fly away like a bird. There would be no conception, no pregnancies, no births. Some believe God made this so in order to protect possible children from His coming judgment. I don’t know. I do know that having children was considered a great blessing, and that blessing would be removed for a time.
There would be some who would escape the sorrow of childlessness, but even those who were born and brought up under His judgment would not come to manhood, or adulthood. This awful curse would come about because the people had departed from God; therefore, He had withdrawn from them.
We need to understand the danger in which we place ourselves when we grow weak and careless in serving God. We leave ourselves open to temptation, to impure thoughts, to wanting to be like everyone else. And therein lies the danger. Being like “everyone else” is the broad path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).