Greg's Blog

Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind

by Greg Laurie on Jul 3, 2020

I heard about an art gallery owner who was representing a certain painter. One day he called the artist and said, “I have some good news and some bad news.”

“What’s the good news?” the painter asked.

“The good news is that some guy just walked in here and asked if your art would be worth more if you were dead. So I told him yes, and he bought every one of your paintings.”

“That’s fantastic!” said the artist. “So what’s the bad news?”

“Well,” said the gallery owner, “the bad news is that he was your doctor.”

We’ve all heard good news-bad news jokes, and maybe some of them make us groan. But I think we need to lighten up a little and find humor when we can. I think we can all use some good news, because we’re living in a bad world.

The Old Testament talks about a very dark time in Israel’s history. They were experiencing a severe famine—so severe, in fact, that the people actually were eating donkeys’ heads and dove droppings. Talk about a lousy meal. Even worse, the people had begun turning to cannibalism. That’s how desperate the people were.

The irony was this famine had come as a result of their own disobedience. Israel had again been turning to other gods.

God will not share His glory with anyone or anything else. He wants the No. 1 position in our lives. God said, “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images” (Isaiah 42:8 NKJV).

Despite the fact that God had blessed Israel, they turned again and again to idols.

Two of the Ten Commandments had specifically warned about this kind of activity. In Exodus 20, God said, “You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods” (verses 3–5 NLT).

Maybe you’re thinking, “Is God a little on the insecure side? Why is He so jealous?”

But let’s bring this into your world for a moment. Husbands, let’s say that your wife was flirting with some other guy. How would you feel? Would you be good with that?

I don’t think so.

Wives, what if your husband said, “You know, I’m going on a date with a different woman every night this week.” Would you be comfortable with that?

Of course not.

So how do you think God feels when we turn away from Him and follow false gods? It might be the god of our career or the god of money or the god of pleasure or something else. But God is saying, “What are you doing? You’re abandoning Me, the true and living God, for this kind of stuff.”

As for Israel, God let the people reap the repercussions of their sin, which in this case was a famine. The king, hearing about the people’s cannibalism, decided that he wanted to kill God’s representative.

What kind of a reaction is that? He should have said, “Lord, this is crazy. We’re calling out to You. We’ve finally had enough.”

But instead the king said, “May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day” (2 Kings 6:31 NLT). Yet Elisha had nothing to do with this whatsoever.

We see the same thing happening today as people reap the consequences of their sin and sink deeper into it. And instead of finally repenting and coming to their senses, they strike out at God—and at His representatives.

Some people say the problems in our nation today are the fault of the Christians. Yet here we are, proclaiming that the Bible, the Word of God, has the answers. Still, they blame it on us.

The fact of the matter is that those who are the most heavenly minded have always been the greatest earthly good. A classic example of this is William Wilberforce, whose life is portrayed in the film Amazing Grace.

Learn more about Pastor Greg: Bio

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Deep reflection on the fundamental Christian messages of love, compassion, charity, and self-sacrifice are part of Henry “Red” Erwin’s story, as told by his grandson, Jon Erwin .

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