Todays readings…Ezra 7, Hosea 8, Acts 27
“THEY SHALL REAP THE WHIRLWIND”
Our chapter 7 yesterday in Hosea was an awesome prophecy the Almighty gave him of his judgements on Israel because “they do not consider that I remember all their evil.”[v.2]
God remembers! And we are commanded to do the same! Paul challenged the Thessalonians, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? [2nd letter 2 v.5] We do not have Paul visiting us, but we should have God’s word in our hands every day.
We read today in ch. 8 that “they cry ‘My God, we—Israel—know you.’ ” [v.2] But what is it to “know” God? In the Bible sense, it is to have a relationship with Him. We read in ch. 5 Hosea’s words, “For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not the LORD.” [v.4] Sadly we fear that can be said today of many who like to think they are ‘christian.’ Let us make sure that this is not the case with us.
` Hosea conveys a blunt message from God and warning to them in today’s chapter 8 v,7 “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” What they sow, is talk, just words, it is not from their heart, because they have no genuine relationship with God. “Israel is … as a useless vessel” [v.8], that is why they are about to “reap the whirlwind.” What is our world about to “reap”?
There is a strange and awesome comparison with this in our chapter 27 in Acts today. They are about to “reap the whirlwind” – but the presence of Paul saves them. He is travelling, as a prisoner, toward Rome – the vessel is caught in a “whirlwind” an awesome storm that is so great that “all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned” [v.20] Our world is approaching the time when, we suspect, our “ship” will be enveloped in a “whirlwind” of anxiety because of events! This godless world will reap what it has sown.
We will read next week an awesome prophecy that the LORD gave to Joel. “For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened … But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold … So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwells in Zion” [3 v.14-17] As our world “reap(s) the whirlwind of God’s judgements, let us have faith that we have a “stronghold” a place of “refuge” because we are “his people”.
It may even be the lot of some of us – to be like Paul on the way to Rome, who, as we read today, was told “Do not be afraid, Paul …. you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God …” [Acts 27 v. 24,25