If we SOW the WIND, we will REAP the WHIRLWIND: "They set up kings, but not by Me; they made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold they made idols for themselves that they might be cut off. Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them--how long until they attain to innocence? For from Israel is even this: a workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces. They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind." (Hosea 8:4-7)
The Israelites had willfully chosen to ignore their covenant with God. They appointed kings without asking for consent from God, and they had also made idols and altars in disobedience to God’s Law. The heart of the idolatrous worship was Samaria, and the specific form that they worshipped was that of a calf. They chose to forget their Maker and to put their trust instead in their well-fortified palaces and towns. So God promised them that their fortresses would be destroyed because of their disloyalty to Him. Using a proverb to make his point, the prophet Hosea had made a statement that the Israelites had ‘sown the wind’ and they would now ‘reap the whirlwind’!
This phrase ('sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind') alludes to the political turmoil surrounding the throne of the northern kingdom during the eighth century B.C., when four kings were assassinated during a 20-year period (7:4–7). Israel’s independence from God in the political sphere was apparent in their refusal to consult God in their choice of leaders. This led to a series of conspiracies and violent assassinations (2 Kings 15:8–30). They have sown the wind and had soon reaped the whirlwind!
The judgment of God came upon Israel because they did not take His covenant with Abraham (see Gen 12:1–3) and His laws that He had given to their forefathers seriously. Israel hath cast off everything that God had proposed for them. So, any benefits that they desired would fall to the hands of strangers to whom God would deliver them, as Israel would fall into the hand of her enemy. All their undertakings will be without any profit: "And this also is a severe evil--just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?" (Eccl. 5:16)
What we can understand here is that Israel claimed to know God (v. 2) but they disobeyed Him. They made kings and rulers without seeking God’s will, and they also made idols in defiance of God. They tried to establish their own government, and even their own religion, apart from God. This is how God’s Word describes them: "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work." (Titus 1:16)
The lesson to be learned here is described well in Proverbs 22:8: "He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow". If we disregard God’s instructions that He has provided through His Word, and deliberately choose to walk in own sinful ways, we will definitely reap the consequences of our actions. The consequences that we face will be a compounded effect of our wrong actions, so beware that “if we sow the wind, we will reap the whirlwind”!