sow reapFurther we see that the people of Israel were sinning in Hosea 8:7-10, because they were beginning to bargain with ungodly countries around them.  Hosea says, ‘They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up. Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles Like a vessel in which is no pleasure. For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10 Yes, though they have hired among the nations, Now I will gather them; And they shall sorrow a little, Because of the burden of the king of princes.’”

See, what you sow, you reap.  And when He says you sow to the wind, the word for “wind” is the same word for “spirit” or for “breath.”  Here the way it’s used was to describe the wind, and usually in Scripture, when the wind is described, it says you don’t know where it comes from, you don’t know where it’s going, but when you’re in it, boy, you know it’s there.  The wind is blowing, and you don’t know how it got there or where it came from, but there is the wind.  You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can’t grasp it, you can’t harness it hardly.

Well, He says, “You’re reaping to the wind.  Your worship,” He’s saying, “is as meaningless, and as uncertain, and as unknowable as the wind.  And if that’s what you are sowing to, you will reap the whirlwind.  And the word for whirlwind is a “storm.”  In other words, what you’re doing in your worship and in your living is useless, it’s meaningless, and it’s going to produce storms in your life.  Actions have consequences.

And here’s a question for us from the text: How often and how many storms are there that we face in our lives that are the result of the decisions and the deeds that we are responsible for earlier?  Sometimes people say that, though we don’t refer to Karma, you get what you deserve; or, what goes around comes around.

The biblical principle is this: If you sow it, you’re going to reap it.  Sometimes the mess that our life turns out to be is exactly because of the choices or the decisions that we’ve made; the actions that we’ve agreed to; the sin that we’ve fallen into.  Our belief and our behavior will bear fruit.  If our life is an absolute mess, what are we sowing?  What are we depending on?  What are we pursuing?

He says here, “They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind.”  It’s not going to produce the right fruit.  “The stalk has no bud.”  It’s the idea that you think your crop is coming up and it looks good, but then there’s not a head on any of the things that are growing.  There’s nothing to pick.  There’s no fruit.  There’s nothing good.  And He says, “Even if any of it was any good, it’s going to be other people who are going to take it, because, by the way, here shortly, you’re not going to be here to harvest.

Israel is swallowed up;” He says; literally devoured, consumed.  They’ve been engulfed.  “Now they are among the Gentiles Like a vessel in which is no pleasure.”  They’re about to be abused by the nations, thrown away, tossed aside.  Why?  Because “they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey.”  This is interesting, because the word for “donkey” can also refer to a zebra.  But either way, it’s talking about an animal that usually runs in a herd, something that’s with other animals.  And if you see one out alone by itself—if you ever watch “Animal Planet” and you see the one animal that’s out away from the herd, what happens to that one that’s out by itself by the herd?  It’s either sick, dying, or soon will be dinner.  Something’s pursuing it, and it’s gotten away from the herd.

This is what God is saying: “You’re like an animal that’s supposed to be in a herd, and you’re out by yourself.  You’ve wandered off.  You’re not where you’re supposed to be.  “You’ve hired yourself among the nations.  You’re selling yourself.  You’re going to the nations for help, instead of coming to Me for help.”  And it says, 10 Yes, … And they shall sorrow a little, Because of the burden of the king of princes.”  What He really is saying here is, “You’re being gathered together for judgment.  The nation is going to begin to diminish.”  And the phrase there where He talks about the “burden of the king of princes” is talking about anointing kings.  He says that there’s going to come a time very shortly when you’re not going to anoint any more kings.  You’re not going to have a nation left to do it.

Jeremiah warned the same thing to Judah.  He said in Jeremiah 2, 23How can you say, ‘I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways, 24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, That sniffs at the wind in her desire; In her time of mating, who can turn her away?’”  He says, You’re 26 Withhold[ing] your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst.  You’re saying ‘There is no hope.’”  They’ve wandered from God.

Zephaniah 3:8 says, “‘Therefore wait for Me,’ says the Lord, ‘Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation, All My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.’”

If you ever think that there is a nation on the face of the earth that is an answer to the earth’s problems, you’ve missed the point.  The solution to the earth’s problems is the gospel.  And every nation—and listen to me, not to be unpatriotic, God bless America—but every nation on the face of the earth in the sight of God is a drop in the bucket, and will be judged at the final judgment.  There is only one kingdom that lasts forever, and it is the kingdom of God.  All of the other kingdoms, God is going to pour His indignation upon.

It’s time that we stopped putting culture above kingdom.  It’s time that we stopped making Christianity about being an American.  You know why we can’t export the Christianity that so many of us believe, is because we’re trying to export Western civilization instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which knows no cultural boundary, and is not held by any one kingdom or nation on the face of this earth.  God tells Israel, “You’re beginning to diminish.  You’re not going to anoint any more kings, because you’re bargaining now with ungodly countries; you’re running after them, instead of coming to Me for what you need.  And there are going to be consequences.”