The prophet Hosea’s name means, “God sows”. God has sown; He is sowing today; and He will continue to sow.
The ten northern tribes of Israel were sown and scattered among the nations, as predicted by Hosea and by Amos. Later, God promised to restore the house of Joseph (Ezekiel 37:16-23; Zechariah 10:6) – but since the house of Joseph is now mingled among all nations, He is accomplishing this is by bringing all nations into the commonwealth of Israel.
The believers in the book of Acts were also dispersed from Jerusalem among all nations, in order to sow the Gospel among all nations. This is how God extended the borders of His kingdom.
Repeatedly throughout history, God has dispersed His chosen people. A more recent example is the Pilgrims, Quakers, and other Christian dissenters who founded colonies in the New World after being chased out of Europe. In all these instances, God’s purpose has not changed – for He is the sower who sows the Word, and the Word is sown by scattering the seed-bearers to the four winds.
During the United States’ formative years, God accomplished this sowing in a new way. Rather than scattering the seed among the fields, God brought the fields to the seeds. Peoples from all nations streamed to North America, some lured by the promise of opportunity, some forcibly abducted against their will. But however the seed is brought to the field, even though it be through man’s greed and unrighteousness, still God’s Word grows when planted.
Now the U.S. and other rich Western countries have become isolationist. Borders are largely closed to those seeking personal freedom and economic opportunity. The sowing of the Word among the nations is no longer being accomplished. To be sure, American churches send token numbers of missionaries to vast multitudes of lost people. It is not enough. God will not allow this situation to continue. He is flexing His arm to scatter once again.
How will the scattering take place? Economic collapse is a strong possibility. We must not arrogantly suppose that it is our own advanced knowledge and ability which has brought us growth and stability. Without the blessing of God, all of the wealth and technology we have accrued would vanish like the mist.
Why is economic collapse so likely? Because we are most proud of our wealth, and God’s judgement always strikes out to puncture the pride of man. We are like Nebuchadnezzar, who said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” He had not finished speaking before a voice from heaven responded, “Your kingdom has been taken away from you.” (Daniel 4:30-31) He lost not only his wealth, but his sanity as well.
For the very same reasons, social turmoil is another likely possibility. We are proud of our society, proud of our “freedoms”. But abuse of freedom brings anarchy. When our pride reaches to the level of Nebuchadnezzar’s, then God will strike us down.
As Daniel counseled Nebuchadnezzar, so the Holy Spirit today counsels us: "Break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, that your tranquillity may be lengthened" (Daniel 4:27).
For us, God has raised the bar. When He says, “show mercy to the poor”, He means not just the poor among us, but the poor among all of His lost children, in all nations. We can no longer ignore them, we have no more excuses. Barriers to communications or transportation have been swept away by modern technology. We are to use every means to share God’s spiritual and material best with all of His children. And even if we do not repent and wholeheartedly give ourselves to this task, God will not be thwarted. His will shall be accomplished, even if against our wills.
Prayer: Dear Father, we submit ourselves to Your will. Scatter us among the nations so as to bring in the greatest possible harvest of righteousness, joy, and salvation.
Copyright © 2001 CrossPollen
Last Revised: June 2, 2001
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