You may have heard the proverb about ‘sowing to the wind and reaping the whirlwind’. Do you know what it means? Did you know it comes from the Bible?
The farmer in ancient times, sowed seed in his field by carrying a basket and scattering the seed around as he walked. He took care to scatter it as evenly as possible but still some fell in unproductive places as the parable of Jesus tells us; it was very unwise to sow on a windy day [Eccles. 11 v.4]
Our reading in Hosea today [Ch.8] has, “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” [v7]. The spiritual application here is about how we use our life, our intellect, and our energies. You go to school, college, and some to University; you are “sowing” for your future. Those who sow so that the wind blows the seed all over the place are increasingly bringing a lot of useless stuff into their minds that will be of no benefit in the future.
The context in Hosea is that Israel, especially the northern ten tribes, had done just that! We read in the very next verse, “Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless people.” Their essential fault is [v.14] that “Israel has forgotten his Maker”.
This is exactly the situation in the world today – they are sowing to “the wind”, believing there is no God, and now they are at their wits end with political whirlwinds swirling around in the Middle East in key areas the Bible’s prophets have been caused to make predictions about.
We have also the ‘winds’ of nature – with greater and greater extremes – and the impossibility of the powers that exists to set a worldwide policy to combat climate change that all nations are comfortable with. A few years ago they had great hopes for what they might achieve; there was a sense urgency in the air!
The situations are just as ‘impossible’ – indeed, more so – in the politics of warfare and control in the Middle East, especially just north of God’s Holy land! Jeremiah, the prophet God sent in the final days of his nation more than 2500 years ago said, “I know O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” [10 v.23] How few have learnt the lessons of history! Let us make sure we do.
Whirlwinds of various kinds fill our world more and more! Do they affect us? Only those who direct their minds to the ways of God will know how to direct their steps, especially as the winds increase. Let us “sow to the wind” – following the guidance of God’s word. Those who don’t do this – will “reap the whirlwind.”