I will be like the dew to Israel.
Christian! despise not spiritual things, because thou hearest not a sound therewith. Much that God doeth, he doeth in silence.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love the Super Bowl halftime show, and the rest of us. I’m in the latter group. It’s just so physically and aurally loud. It’s meant to be captivating, whether you want to be captivated by it or not. In many ways, it’s the ultimate achievement of western entertainment culture.
Sometimes we want God’s work to be loud. We want it to be broadcast-worthy, full of live-stream splendor. In Hosea 14:5, the Lord uses a simile to describe himself: he is like dew to Israel. In the Middle East, dew provides essential moisture for plant life. At the bare minimum the Lord is saying that only he provides spiritual life for his people.
Spurgeon rightfully observes that dew provides silently. People go to bed, wake up, and find it there. There’s no digging of irrigation canals, no thunder and storm. Dew is a provision from heaven. It just appears, and keeps on appearing.
We can therefore add to the point of the simile: the Lord consistently provides spiritual life. The Lord’s work of providing spiritual growth for his people is not Super Bowl halftime show worthy. It’s not carnal enough. It’s not loud enough.
In fact, most of the time God’s provision for us is quiet and consistent. It certainly doesn’t come from an earthly source. The Spirit of God uses his Word to change us little by little. It’s not headline worthy, but it’s the sure provision of God that we cannot live without.
American culture has always loved entertainment, and that’s not going away. The culture transforming nature of social media hasn’t been to create a love of entertainment, but rather to make everyone an entertainer of sorts. If your post is loud enough (or cute enough, or clever enough, etc.), people will like it.
I wonder if this hasn’t caused us all the more to look for the “Instagram-worthy” version of spiritual growth. We have a taste for loud and big and bright, but what about the consistent provision of God for us?
In Hosea, this simile is even more remarkable considering the rather loud rejection of God by his people described in the book. Regardless of how hard Israel would stubbornly run after their Canaanite gods and goddesses, God was graciously calling them home. He is like dew to them. He is like dew to us.
One day God’s work will be loud. Jesus will return to the sound of trumpets. His appearance will be far more than entertainment; for his church it will be truly satisfying. In the meantime, let’s praise God for his silent work, and watch for it every morning.