“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.” So wrote Bob Dylan in 1962 (has it really been that long ago?). Music critics would write about that line using descriptives such as, “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind.” Most people know that Bob’s birth name given by his Jewish parents was Robert Zimmerman. Bob, during his years, has studied Judaism and Christianity, and probably knows more about both than many of us.
In those early years, he wrote of a greater mystery than probably he even realized. The main subject of his hugely popular song dealt with peace, war, and freedom, but that chorus answer actually called out for an even bigger answer, an answer that could only be asked of the Source of wind, the Creator God.
In John 3:8, Jesus/Yeshua told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, and whom Yeshua called the teacher of Israel, these words: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” The Greek word for wind, and also for Spirit, is πνεῦμα pneuma, and means, “a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit.” Yeshua would have no doubt conversed with Nicodemus in Hebrew, or a sister language, Aramaic. The Hebrew for wind, and also for Spirit, is רוּחַ rûach, the definition of which goes a little deeper: “wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions).”
The subject of wind has been an influence on many people’s writings:
Jonathan Cahn wrote of an example of someone trying to walk against a very strong wind. Doing so creates drag, making it very hard to move. The example is that doing the same thing in the spirit, that is, walking against the Spirit of God, will also create drag, making it harder and harder in life to get anywhere worthwhile in spirit. So the idea is to walk with the wind pushing you; walk with the Spirit blowing you. Repent of sin, turn your life around, open up and let Yeshua be your Lord and Master, your Boss, if you will. As Cahn noted, “Life will go from being a drag…to a breeze.”
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), considered to be a major Victorian poet, wrote a poem called, “Who Has Seen the Wind?” “Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through. Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by.”
Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, wrote, “Thankful for the Wind.” “I recently read that the winds we typically experience in March are the result of atmospheric instability caused by increasingly strong sunshine. Could this also be true spiritually? Could the winds of adversity and instability, pain and pressure, sickness and weariness, be caused by an increasingly strong SONshine? Could God be shining the light of His truth, His presence, His power, His peace more brightly, so that in contrast to our circumstances we are compelled to look up…and cry out to Him? …What “wind” has been blowing in your life? The life of your loved one? The life of our nation and our world? Could God be using the winds to get our attention so that we focus once again on the God of Creation? If He could transform Planet Earth in the beginning, He can transform our lives, our nation and our world. His power has not been diminished nor diluted over the ages. It’s time to look up…and be thankful for the Wind that has gotten our attention.”
And Billy Graham made this short statement about wind, “Can you see God? You haven’t seen him? I’ve never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind. There’s a mystery to it.”
What else does the Bible have to say about the wind (pneuma or rûach)? Here’s just a few verses:
Ecclesiastes 11:5, “Just as you do not know the path of the wind [rûach] and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” The [rûach] wind is a mystery.
Ezekiel 1:4, “As I looked, behold, a storm wind [rûach] was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.” The wind [rûach] of God can be very awesome.
Ezekiel 37:9, “Prophesy to the breath [rûach], prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath [rûach], ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds [rûach], O breath [rûach], and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.” There is power in the [rûach] wind.
Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit [pneuma] and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” The [pneuma] Spirit is mighty.
John 3:8 once more, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” To this we will compare the words of Ecclesiastes 1:6, “Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the wind [rûach] continues swirling along; and on its circular courses the wind [rûach] returns.” The Wind [rûach] blows where it chooses. The 2nd Chapter of Acts said it in a song from several years back, “You don’t know which way the wind blows, so how can you plan tomorrow? Jesus knows which way the wind blows, so give Him your tomorrow.”
So, yes, the answer is truly blowin’ in The Wind. Our goal, as we search for the answer, should be to go where The Wind blows us. The answer is only elusive if we are trying to catch it walking against the Wind. Any plans we make, fighting the Wind, will only end up futile. The answer is blowin’ in THE WIND, so give Him your tomorrow.