He That Observeth The Wind Shall Not Sow

He That Observeth
The Wind Shall Not Sow

John Phillips

In his continuing series of brief studies in Ecclesiastes, Mr. John Phillips of Marietta, Ga., reminds us of the importance of obeying God and not just observing the wind.

Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:4

Circumstances are not always going to be favorable for the things we are duty bound to do. Sometimes we must proceed in faith scorning the frowning circumstances. “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” The fanner who refused to plow because it was too hot or too cold or who refused to reap because it looked like rain would starve. He must rise above the weather as we must rise above the storm.

It is a common maxim of Christian guidance that we must wait for the three harbor lights of Scripture, personal conviction and circumstances to come into line before making a move. It is a good rule but not infallible. What if circumstances stubbornly refuse to come into line? What if God is testing faith by a door that is closed but not locked? What if the wind is contrary and He wants us to dare the weather and develop our faith?

If Moses had observed the wind when he stood before Pharaoh, Israel’s shackles would never have been removed. God told him to ignore the frown of Pharaoh. Things would change in time. What if Paul had observed the wind when he stood before Felix and when a bribe could have secured him his freedom? He could have won his freedom and lost his ministry at one and the same time. Or what about when he stood before Nero? Suppose he had observed the wind and not have sown the Gospel into the hard volcanic rock of Nero’s soul? Could he have written to Timothy, “I have kept the faith”?

When John G. Paton decided to go to the New Hebrides with the Gospel the wind was all against him. He was refused a passport but, persisting, he was finally allowed to go — at his own risk. The savages on the islands were cannibals, untamed, depraved and amongst the wildest in the world. All signs seemed to say, “Stay at home.” But Paton went forth weeping, bearing precious seed and came again rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him. He sowed and tilled and reaped until even officialdom acknowledged the miracle and bore witness to what God had wrought.

It is good to observe the wind. It is better to obey the One the very winds obey.