“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7 ).
A law of physics states: “For every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction.” Today, we might call that “blowback.”
Instead, the Prophet Hosea used an illustration that people of all centuries could relate to. If you sow some seeds, you should expect a harvest. One seed of wheat into the ground—maybe fifty will grow out of it. However, one seed of a weed will give the same rate of return.
One must be careful about what one is sowing.
The prophet talks about sowing wind. If we use the picture of a dust up, we are on the right track. When one sows the wind, he is creating a disturbance. He is making trouble. We might say, he is asking for it. The words, reap the whirlwind, means he will get it.
A wind may be gentle or strong. A whirlwind is a tornado. Who wants that in return?
To illustrate the point with history, we might look at the land of the Lutheran Reformation, Germany. Two times during the last century it sowed militant winds. It invaded neighboring countries.
Two times within that century it reaped a whirlwind. It came out of WWI defeated and in debt. WWII blasted it with utter destruction.
Sow the wind. Reap the whirlwind.
There’s always a risk for a nation to go to war against another. The blowback might be brutal. To go to war against God guarantees return fire. It’s worse than getting hit with a tornado.
Just ask the angels who picked a fight with him. Yet, this is what humans consistently try to do. It’s like taking on
Because that is human nature. We were born into this world as vowed enemies of the holy Creator and Judge. We instinctively reject his claim to rule over us. We want independence. And though we have seen how person after person, generation after generation, has gone down to the grave in defeat, we still scorn his offer of peace and vow to continue our fight.
The human race that sows the wind of rejecting God reaps the whirlwind of his rejection landing on their heads.
The talk of a whirlwind reminds us of another mighty wind. Saint Luke tells us about it with these words: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1).
This wind was not to destroy, but to bring life to many people—including us. This “wind from heaven” was the Holy Spirit who came to turn hatred and rebellion into love and faithfulness in the hearts of humans.
Many tried to stop him. Armies marched against the spread of his gospel. They were left in the dust of history.
You and I no longer wage war against the Lord God. The Holy Spirit has changed our hearts. We now answer the call to duty in service to the Lord of lords.
We no longer sow the wind. There will be no blowback with a whirlwind.
In the words of Sailors, we instead have, fair winds and following seas.
We pray: Eternal God and Commander of all, we hear your warning against waging war against you. We see from history the futility of this. We pour out our hearts in appreciation for giving us a new heart of faith that we might live in the gentle breezes of heaven. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida – Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military