Day 11

Israel’s False Hopes

from the Hosea reading plan

Hosea 8:1-14, Mark 2:15-17, 1 John 3:1

BY Guest Writer

Text: Hosea 8:1-14, Mark 2:15-17, 1 John 3:1

“They sow the wind and shall reap the whirlwind.”
-Hosea 8:7

It’s kind of an absurd picture to imagine. Pushing hard against a plow through air. Carefully planting seeds of air. Sweat beading down as you pull weeds from the air. No matter how determined and sincere the Israelites might have been in their efforts, they were applied to an absolutely immovable force: the wind, a force of nature.

All those miracles right in front of their faces, day after day, and still they were crouching out back, hammering little bits of metal together to fashion some other god to worship. It’s as if they were eager to put themselves in harm’s way, intentionally hunting down ways to insult and abandon the One who had loved and cared for and rescued them time after time. Israel was “a wild donkey wandering alone” (Hosea 8:9). They were a ridiculous people, trying to sow the wind.

In reality, we’re not so different from the Israelites.

Fear and pain and loss surround us. They threaten to rip out our hearts and swallow us whole. Daily we’re tempted to rely on our most sincere plans, determined to live out of our own strength. We strive hard to pile up some measure of security in an unstable world. Whether it’s on the job or in our relationships, we labor at the plow, striving to produce something—anything—that will prove our significance.

We avoid. We manipulate. We shop. We control. We produce. We sow the wind. We hope, but we hope in the wrong things.

But “this is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it’” (Isaiah 30:15). The Israelites were sinners, just like me and you. But, praise the Lord, Jesus came for wind-sowers like us (Mark 2:17).

Yes, life is painfully hard and the giants in the land are real. We are not enough for any of it, but He is. He offers us rest from our endless plowing. He offers us Himself.

Our wrestling and questioning may never end. Sin will continually call us back to our self-sufficient wandering. But when we turn to God and repent, we exchange our demands of Him for trust in Him. When we recall His faithfulness, we’ll see we can put down our idol-making hammers and put all our faith in Him. And faith in Him is never in vain.


Laura Pierce is a homeschooling, public-schooling, and private-schooling mom to six kids, ages 5 to 17. She and her husband, Rick, met in Bible school and have been married for 21 years. They love doing life in Kansas City, where Rick is a marriage counselor and Laura is a full-time mom.

Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "Israel’s False Hopes"

  1. Don’t I know doing things in my own strength doesn’t work, yet I forget and find myself doing this time after time. Amongst our stress and control issues, I find it so incredibly wonderful that God is our strength and fighter. He is oh so reliable and will always be there! HE NEVER FAILS!

  2. Murphey Hatcher says:

    This is great for me to hear with all that is going on. The election is a crazy time. I’m about to graduate college. I’m applying for a job and I’m unsure about it.
    But in all this mess and craziness I can rest. I can know that it’s all striving for the wind and He is the only true anchor in this cold world. Thank God for Jesus Christ. We need Him every second of every day.

  3. Keri McCue says:

    I love when you said “We strive hard to pile up some measure of security in an unstable world.” Because I do this all the time. So many times I try to find security in my family, husband, finances, etc. How silly must we look to God? But still He calls us. Still He waits for us. Still He delivers us. I am so thankful for a forgiving and sovereign God!!

    1. Phylicia says:

      Amen! Thanks for sharing. I can totally relate!

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