“He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
On a physical plane, the farmer’s best advice is found in the Bible concerning sowing and reaping. Many times the farmer looks at the prospective weather to see when he will sow in the spring and when he will reap in the fall. Many times the farmer will seek wisdom from the weatherman to know when to sow and reap.
However, the Bible is very plain in this matter in our text verse. The problem is not the weather; the problem is overcoming carnal reasoning. Even the farmer needs to have his steps directed by God on a daily basis, not the by the weather.
So it is with the spiritual man. In making a spiritual application, the wind and the clouds represent things that distract a child of God from walking by faith in his God-ordained role, whatever it may be. The wind and the clouds could represent a multitude of stumbling blocks that keep the child of God from reaping the harvest of God’s fullest blessings on a daily basis, in that he “observes” and “regards” the wind and the clouds. The problem is really not the wind or the clouds, but how the sower and reaper view the two obstacles. He depends upon the wind and clouds for his wisdom.
When a child of God is not filled with the Spirit of God, his first response is, “What am I to do? What can I do? How am I to do it?” Did you note the “I” syndrome? This indicates that the child of God is depending upon himself and his sufficiency; looking to his own power and intellect to know when, where, and how.
This kind of reasoning leads first to doubt, and secondly to fear in the child of God; and thirdly, it leads to excuses of why he should not sow or reap. These three things lead the child of God to say, “I can’t.”
After God had commanded Moses to go back to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of bondage; Moses said, but I can’t speak plainly. However, God had the solution in Aaron, Moses’ brother (Exodus 3 and 4).
Elijah had killed 850 false prophets (I Kings 18 and 19); then fear took hold of him, and he ran and was hiding in a cave. God asked, “…What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9). Elijah’s reply is, I have done all these things for you, but now “…I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (verse 10). Elijah had given up and was now hiding like a fugitive running from the law. God then told Elijah what all He had yet for him to do (verses 14-18). Then God assured Elijah that he was not the only one left; 7,000 had not bowed their knee to Baal (verse 18).
The same fear and doubt of the old man surfaced in the Children of Israel in the Wilderness in the matter of going over into Canaan Land and claiming their Inheritance. But to do this, they would have to overcome the inhabitants (even giants) in the land. Israel sent spies over to spy out the land that God had given them; the spies came back with a report of fear and doubt. (Read Number 13:27-33.) “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33).
Then read what Joshua said to refute their fear and doubt, “…they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 14:9).
But Israel rebelled and God told them they would fall in the Wilderness, all except Joshua and Caleb and the children 19 years and younger. (See Numbers 14:24.)
What cost Israel the Victory? Fear and doubt of God’s Word of Promise. They looked at the wind and the clouds. It cost them their Inheritance and their physical lives, for they fell in the Wilderness and died.
The Problem? Walking by sight and not by Faith (or by Christ); not by depending upon His Sufficiency to do as He has promised.
The question then arises: Reader, what are you seeing in your pathway? Do you observe the wind and regard the clouds of seeming obstacles (such as the giants were for the children of Israel in the Wilderness)? Are they keeping you from sowing and reaping God’s best for you?
As physical clouds take on many different formations, so do things (adversity, tests, and trials) in your individual life. We are all of different make-up in personality, etc. But it all boils down to fear and doubt of God’s Word if you observe the wind and regard the clouds.
Life is full of clouds, trials, and troubles. But God knows that; He planned it this way to conform His children and to lead them to walk by Faith (or by Christ; Galatians 2:20). (See Deuteronomy 8:1-6; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4.) God is not destroying His People with the clouds, but is proving them to be People of Faith. The proof is not to God, but proof to themselves and to others, to see if they will keep the Commandments or not.
Reader, if you are looking at the clouds, stop now. Get your eyes on Christ and His Promises and His Calling for you. The clouds are not your problem. Your problem is the “I” syndrome. Get rid of “I” and start saying, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). And “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
When you do this, you will fly right through the clouds (or the tests) as if they were not even there, for they are but a vapor. When you get on top of the cloud cover, you will be in His Light, in His Power; and you will experience Victory.
The wind and clouds are but tests for the child of God to see if he will keep God’s Commandments or not. They are placed in the pathway of the child of God, not to destroy him, but to conform him. They are there to develop his dependency upon Christ and not upon the reasoning of the flesh.