The Spiritually Dormant Life

It’s Time To Seek The Lord

Hosea 10:12 KJV Sow to yourselves in righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come to rain righteousness”.

In the four (4) gospels of the New Testament alone, the word “sow” (or a form of the word) is mentioned 24 times; Jesus even went to great trouble to talk about the subject of sowing and its importance. In the book of Matthew alone there are thirteen references.

What is this talking about to “sow to yourselves in righteousness”? The topic of sowing is simply about spreading seed. Farmers spread seeds with the intent to grow something from the seed and therefore to propagate one seed into more of the same and “sow” on (Pun intended).

In this case, sowing is talking about the seed being the Word of God. This can be in the form of: speech – things that we say or talk about; see – things that we look at or read about; hear – things that we listen to; do – our actions (including thinking); and the things that go into our bodies – food and drink. I could go on for a long time in regard to each of these but, for now, I won’t.

The bottom line is that the things that we say, do, etc. actually speak for, or against, God and His position in our lives. Think about those things that you say and do, etc. God tells us in this verse that we are to plant these seeds (of the Word of God) in our lives “in righteousness”. Those seeds/actions of our lives need to reflect Christ in a positive sense.  They need to be pleasing to Him.

If your life is pleasing to God, He will bless it; you will “reap in mercy”. What is the meaning of “mercy” here?

Mercy is receiving God’s unfailing love – love in which we could do absolutely NOTHING to earn and we definitely don’t deserve it. There is nothing more important, meaningful, encouraging and life-stirring than to know and feel God’s unfailing love.

Fallow land strip farmingWhat would it entail or require for us to acquire God’s mercy or unfailing love? The verse goes on to tell us that we are to “break up your fallow ground”. Again, speaking in farming terms: fallow. Fallow means plowed but left unseeded for a growing season.

Farmers, at the end of a growing season, will, at times, rotate their planting schedules to help enrich the soil. They have planted a crop on this ground and after it has been harvested at the end of that season, they till the ground so that it is rough and it tills in the left over plant material into the ground under it aiding in the decomposition of the organic material and therefore enriching and fertilizing  the soil so that when it is next planted, it will have richer soil and produce a greater and more fruitful harvest the next season, and,  when it is planted (sowed), the plants will come up much stronger and healthier and grow bigger and faster.

The process of tilling the dirt under also disrupts the natural growth of bugs and other pests that would normally inhabit the area and the crop rotation process confuses the bugs and other pests so that they don’t gain a foothold on what kind of crop grows there. If a farmer plants the same crop from year to year, each consecutive year would get increasingly harder to keep the bugs away from the plants and would eventually virtually kill off that vegetation.

Now, if a farmer switches his crop from year to year, the bugs won’t have anything to eat the next year and as a result can’t get a foothold in their reproduction from one season to the next.  Potato bugs don’t normally grow around beans. Tomato worms don’t grow around corn.

When the farmer plows the ground, it is tilled in rows that are typically against the flow of the wind currents, if possible, and/or horizontal on the side of a hill to capture the erosion as it cascades down the hill so that when the weather kicks up and it receives the snow or, in some parts of the world, rain, it will sit in that lower area and stay there longer than on the top soil (peak) and the moisture makes the decomposition of the organic material happen.

The row design is also to create a back-flow of air behind the peak of dirt so that the moisture will stay there longer. If the dirt remains unplowed and flat, the moisture would then just run off and the wind would just blow the snow over the dirt and, in some cases, the dirt will become desolate in that it would be unable to grow anything – even weeds. The soil needs to have its nutrition to grow a plant.

These are only a couple of the benefits of plowing and crop rotation and there are many more.

The plowing is one of the first steps in making the soil softer (unlike clay that has dried) so that it will receive a seed more easily and the seed, when germinated, grows its roots into the ground; softer ground works better for that. Remember the story that Jesus told of the sower in Mark 4:4-8 and the meaning of it in Mark 4:14-20.

What next? The verse says: “break up your fallow ground” indicating that it must have been tilled before. This makes me believe that God is speaking to the Christian here. Someone who has already received Christ as Savior since the Holy Spirit is the one that cultivates our soil and prepares it for planting. There is a chance that He is also speaking to a soul that has not yet received Christ as the Lord of his life and the Holy Spirit has been working on his/her heart to prepare it for His Word to be sown on it.

We are to break up the fallow ground. We are to prepare it (our heart) for planting. We are to cleanse our hearts from all corrupt thoughts, lusts and desires – which are the weeds within our crops – and be of a broken and contrite spirit and be full of sorrow and shame when we think of them. Then, and only then, will we be ready to receive the divine precepts of God’s Word – the seeds – so that it may take root and become deeply grounded in His Word.

Our verse says that “it is time to seek the Lord”. Eccl. 3:1 says that there is a time and a season for everything that is under Heaven. It is time to seek the Lord. Gen. 6:3 says that “My Spirit”, or God’s Spirit – the Holy Spirit – “shall not always strive with man…”. So there is a specific time frame in which the Lord can be found. Isaiah 55:6 says to “Seek the Lord while He may be found”.

The great thing about our God is that since we are within the time frame in which He can be found, we still have a chance! II Corinthians 6:2 says “Behold, now is the accepted time”.

Friend, God has so much in store for us, so much blessing, so much reward for us for doing (sowing) things that are pleasing to Him; for spreading His Word; for living a life that is pleasing to Him and for purging out of our lives those things in which He can’t use and doesn’t appreciate about us.

No, our reward isn’t always in the form of what we would consider an earthly reward like fame or fortune, which most of us would like to have. But rather, our reward is laid up for us in Heaven. Matthew 6:19 says “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” and verse 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”.

Our treasures, our pleasures are laid up for us in Heaven when we do the things that God wants us to do. The way God wants us to act isn’t always the popular way to act. There will, almost always, be someone who is offended or doesn’t like the things that you say or do because it is right. Some people only delight in the ways of iniquity, but, God tells us to “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart”, Psalm 37:4.

Did you know the word “delight” is mentioned in the books of Psalm and Proverbs alone, 38 times? That is just those two books out of the 66 books of the Bible. God puts a huge emphasis through the Bible on making Him the “desires” of our heart and “delighting” in Him.

What does that mean for you? It means that when we actually desire to do the right thing; to do the things that are pleasing to the Lord, we will delight in it or we will actually enjoy what we are doing – as long as we do them in the right spirit. If we think that we are doing it to please our pastor or to make ourselves look good to someone else or to win some earthly prize, we are gravely mistaken. We are to do things as though God were the only one seeing what we do and we do them just to make Him happy.

Is that you today? Do you enjoy doing the right thing regardless what others might think? Are you doing things to make God happy or are you doing it to make yourself or someone else happy?

My friend, change your heart. Seek out God; read His Word; earnestly pray to Him and ask His forgiveness for your sin and strive to do that right, God-pleasing, thing.

Why? Because, the last part of our verse says that He is coming to rain down righteousness on you. Please, be one of those that God comes to rain down righteousness (eternal life) on. The Bible teaches that Jesus is going to come back for us sometime very soon. He will take us, as Christians, with Him into the clouds to be with Him in Heaven (I Thess. 4) and that He is preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3).  We have to be ready for Him or we will be left behind. Friend, it could be tomorrow or something could happen to you tonight and you wouldn’t wake up in the morning.  Where will you spend eternity?

Dear God, please help us to break up our fallow ground and look for the fruit that only you can provide. Help us to do the things that You will be happy with. Help us to do those things that we might do if you were standing beside us, because, we, as Christians, have you with us all the time – even when we are alone – and we want to do those things that are pleasing to You. Thank you for Your promise that we can look forward to of eternal life that is only found in You. Bless, now, these readers, Lord. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.

Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Written by Mark Davis

P.S. – If you aren’t certain where you will spend eternity and you would like to make sure, please read this.

©2012  Mark Davis

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