This phrase is found in Hosea 8:7. “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.” We have turned this into “you get more than you bargained for.” The US is now in hurricane season. Floridians look for that small wind blowing off the coast of Africa that can move slowly across the Atlantic. Occasionally it becomes a Cat 5 monster of a storm with winds up to 150 mph. I don’t know who is sowing that wind, but I wish they would farm somewhere else. Little things turn into big things. Small problems become big problems. James says, “So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing fire of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” (James 3:3-6)
How did the system of Baal worship get started in the first place? Did someone wake up one morning and say, “I think I will carve me an idol to worship.” It started with an idea in someone’s head. Someone failed to retain God in their knowledge. Someone took that first small step away from the True and Living God. Someone planted an idolatrous wind. It didn’t start with Jezebel. She merely stirred it up more. She added to the swirl of the wind. By the time Baal worship reached Hosea’s time it was a whirlwind, at huge tornado.
Marx and Hagel did this. Their idea of class conflict as an economic theory was merely an idea. Look what it turned into. Communism was unleased on the world and in the hands of men like Stalin and Mao it turned into the whirlwind. It is the same with generational curses. Decisions made by one person down the family tree have profound effects on those at the top of the tree. One stupid word can turn into a family squabble like the Hatfield's and the McCoy's. When you are in the middle of the emotional and relational hurricane you might ask yourself if that snide comment was worth it. Was that moment of satisfaction worth it? Was that sweet revenge worth it? Was that small advantage in traffic worth it? Was that insignificant financial gain worth it?
As I was writing this, a brother from Kenya told me he had been reading my Hosea posts and preaching sermons from the book of Hosea. There is another side of this wind-whirlwind coin. A small mustard seed of faith can produce a large harvest. A small investment of time and money can pay rich dividends. What you sow into the Lord’s work can do more than you can ask or imagine. God can take a widow’s mite and build temples. God can take a kind word and change a person’s heart. God can use that one talent man to produce two talents unless it is buried in the backyard. It all depends on what we are planting. If you plant strife, you will get more strife. If you plant lies, you will get more lies. If you plant immorality, you will get STDs. If you plant rumors, you will get fake news.
But if you plant peace, you will reap peace. If you plant truth, you will reap more truth. If you plant hope, you will reap more hope. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap destruction, but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap life.
Remember this song by Kurt Kaiser:
It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;
That's how it is with God's Love,
Once you've experienced it,
Your spread the love to everyone
You want to pass it on.