(14 verses, 2:42 to read)
What I am about to READ
Israel sows emptiness and reaps nothingness
- 1-3: Prophecy that Assyria will attack Israel. Israel will cry out “My God..we know You,” but it is a prayer in vain.
- 4-6: See the many things Israel has set up – princes, kings, and idols. They’ve been busy! Then answer the question, “Is it from God?” from these passages.
- 7-10: Israel sows to the idols and takes security in their allies rather than the Lord and His Word and institutions. The Lord will allow them to reap what they sow.
- 11-14: There’s a lot of altars in Ephraim – altars that were even set up by the Lord. But Israel is using these altars for false worship.
- Vs. 2 – Israel knows what to say, “My God, we – Israel – know you.” The problem is they don’t believe His promises and live holy lives in accordance with it. God wants to hear that prayer asking for help, but He wants to hear it now and often, not in vain and without faith.
- Vs. 7 is applied to the New Testament Christians in this passage, “7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Galatians 6).”
- Vs. 12 is a fascinating condemnation. The people seemed to be demanding more and newer laws. The Lord condemns them because they ignore the Word they do have! If He were to give them more, they would soon ignore that, too. They would regard it “as a strange thing.” This condemns us when we believe the Lord’s Word is not enough for us. His Law doesn’t give us enough to do and His Gospel doesn’t give us enough comfort. The Lord calls us to repentance of this, letting us see that if He were to give us another Word “by the ten thousands,” we would soon regard that, too, “as a strange thing.” The Bible is enough. That promise is for both our repentance and our comfort.
- Lord Jesus, help me to sow to the Spirit by believing Your Word, repenting of my sin, and hearing that you indeed are my God and I know You (vs. 2), because You first knew me (John 10:14). Like a seed of grain, You have died and were buried, so that You might bear much fruit (John 12:24). Your Word also bears much fruit (Luke 8). Strengthen my faith to love the Word You have given me and not desire a word You have not given me and lead me to call upon You now, seeing that all of my days in this life are days of trouble (Ps. 50:15). Amen.
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Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC