The Growth of Sin (2)
Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI
Pay attention each day to what is important to us: God or the things of this earth? Do we see sin in ourselves? We certainly will, but God will speak to us about our sins through godly friends, proper preaching, our reading of the Bible and the witness of the Spirit who lives in the hearts of His people. Do not be stubborn in sin or refuse to confess it. God has promised forgiveness through the cross of Jesus Christ to those who, by the work of His Spirit, confess their sins to Him.
Are we falling into the sin of hypocrisy? Is what we do only for the eyes of men? Will we only put on a good show, as the farmer who looks good but is really sowing the wind? Are we only interested in how we appear to others but not in giving to God the fruit of thankfulness? If we have these little acorns of sin in us, that sin will grow. Will God have to send the hurricane of His anger to tear the mighty oak tree of sin from our lives?
How are we doing here at school? Are we going through life with little acorns of sin in our pockets? Do we speak kindly to, and about, each other or do we sin against each other by the words we speak? Do we put our talents to the best use or don’t we care about doing our best? Do we see God has blessed us in giving us our churches and schools, or do we grumble about having to learn another catechism lesson or memory verse?
The little acorn grows to be a huge oak. Planting the sin of hypocrisy brings about the hurricane of God’s judgment. Sin, small as it may seem to be, will grow into something terribly dangerous and destructive, if we do not turn from it.
A whirlwind is different. A check in my concordance tells me the word is “hurricane.” Now a hurricane is a bit different from wind. When you warn people that a hurricane is coming their way, things happen. Valuable belongings are packed. Windows are boarded up. A man will make his house as secure as possible so the coming storm will cause the least amount of damage. People make plans to leave the area and live elsewhere for a time. Some of us are scared of big thunderstorms. Many more of us would be scared of a hurricane.
Hosea tells us the farmer will harvest the whirlwind. A whirlwind is much different from wind. The wind can be nice, enjoyable and pleasant. Here in Michigan we can have hot, humid days in the summer. When you were playing or working outside on one of those uncomfortable days, have you ever said you were glad that at least there was a breeze to cool you off somewhat? A nice little wind does not scare us, cause us to run for cover or to prepare our property for possible damage. We often like it. The weather forecasters do not give watches or warnings for the coming of a pleasant wind.
Another surprising thing is that this false farmer actually has a harvest! Had he sown wheat, we would not be surprised to find the farmer would harvest wheat. But this farmer planted the wind! What kind of crop could possibly sprout when the wind is sown?
In a church, he would be called a hypocrite. Hypocrites look good but their work does not bring forth the fruit God commands. There is no true crop of thankfulness to God for all the blessings He has so graciously given. All the hypocrite’s work is for the purpose of an outward show for men to see. The hypocrite seeks the praise of men, not the glorifying of God’s name.
There is only one thing wrong. His seed bag is empty. Yet he looks good! He is in the proper place! He is going through the proper motions! He looks for all the world as a good, diligent farmer! But the only thing in his hand which he sows is the air, wind. He is a false farmer. All the work which this man has done will yield no crop worth having. He is only putting on a show of diligence to those around him.
There is just one little problem though. It is a problem we might not notice from a distance. We need to look carefully at this man. He has something slung over his shoulder. It is a bag. Had we been around in those days we would have recognized what the bag was. It was the bag in which the sower carries seed. Farmers would walk across their fields, reach into the bag, grab a handful of seeds and then, with a wave of the hand, cast the seed into the soil. They would do this again and again until the entire field was planted.
This man is even dressed as a farmer. He does not look out of place because he is dressed as a merchant, potter or carpenter. To the eye, everything appears to be proper. We see a man doing a job for which he is prepared and he seems to know what he is doing.
Hosea uses a picture to instruct the people. Hosea speaks about a man who appears to be a farmer. The man gives every appearance of being one. The man is not standing in a street or in the middle of a house. When we see him he is in a field. Work has been done to prepare the soil for seed. Everything looks ready for the sowing of seed.
Hosea is speaking to Israel about the coming judgment of God against them for their sin. Israel has made idols to worship and set up kings of whom God did not approve. God speaks about the calf of Samaria, Israel’s capital, being broken in pieces. What is amazing is that the people of Israel thought they could still call upon God’s name in their time of distress and He would deliver them. God tells them there will be no deliverance from the enemy but that the enemy will pursue them.
Hosea 8:7: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”