Daily Readings and Thought for November 11th. “For they sow the wind”
Today is the 11th day of the 11th month and 105 years ago it was chosen as Armistice Day, now called Remembrance Day as a day of solemn memory of the millions, who had fallen in what was called the “Great War” of 1914-18. There was an ever greater war with many more millions dying in 1939-1945. The 11th of November has become a Remembrance Day for all wars and people with an urge to remember gather in solemn ceremonies at dawn.
There is value in looking back and taking stock. There is even greater value in looking forward! But to what today, can people look forward? The future we see has a great many things that cause concern: there are 5 main ones. 1. The weather around the world has become increasingly violent, potentially caused by massive industrial development. 2. The world financial system is in disarray, all kinds of stopgap policies being tried to prevent a total system failure, but a policy to make it sound and dependable seems impossible. 3. There is more and more violent behaviour, especially among and by the young. 4. Multiple war fronts erupting all over the world but particularly in the Middle East and the Ukraine. And lastly, the potential for world wide deadly diseases.
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 would be 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; you are “sowing” for your future, we learn much more of the ways of living outside of school. What kind of “training” is that giving for the future. Those who sow so that the wind blows the seed all over the place are bringing a lot of useless stuff into their minds that will not only be of no benefit in the future, but has a large chance of being destructive.
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] “Israel has forgotten his Maker” That 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 whirlwinds looming on the horizon.
“The eleventh hour” Do you remember how and why Jesus used that phrase? It’s in a parable that’s in Matthew Ch. 20 where a landowner went out “to hire labourers for his vineyard” God is the landowner, the world is his vineyard, who are ready to be labourers for him? Even “about the eleventh hour” [v.6] when the day was nearly over he went out and saw more “standing idle” and invited them to work in his vineyard.
This world is in its “eleventh hour” and so many are sowing to the wind or at best “standing idle”. We must all think carefully about what we are doing – or not doing.