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 was taken 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 tells us; it was very unwise to sow on a windy day.
Hosea chapter 8 has God, through His prophet, telling the nation, “For they sow to the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (verse 7). The spiritual application is about how we use our life, our intellect, and our energies. When you go to school you are “sowing” for your future. Those who sow to the wind blow the seeds of thought and purpose in their minds all over the place. Lots of useless stuff comes into their minds that will be of no benefit in the future, but also has a chance of being destructive.
The context in Hosea is that Israel, especially the northern ten tribes, had done just that! The next verse says, “Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless vessel”. They have become a vessel sailing they know not where – there are no thoughts about direction, only about their immediate future.
Hosea’s contemporary prophet Isaiah was telling them something similar, “…the Lord God … called for weeping … and behold (instead) joy and gladness … drinking wine (and saying) ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (22:13). This is living only for the moment, today, this week, this month … The fault, as Hosea puts it, is that “… Israel has forgotten his Maker” (verse 14). That is exactly the case today, most do not believe their Creator even exists!
The result of this non-belief, this sowing in the wind, is that our world is getting worried about the whirlwinds looming on the horizon. Some of these are literal as the effects of climate change become more evident and violent.
Jeremiah, the final prophet God sent to His nation as it collapsed, 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” (10:23). We can only direct our steps, our future in a meaningful way if we direct our minds to the ways of God: daily Bible reading and meditative reflection will lead us to know how to direct our steps, not only preventing us from sowing to the wind, but giving us a wonderful eternal future.