So a few years back during a midweek service, one of the elders’ wives in our church shared a scripture that still impacts me today:
“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’ “But you have cultivated wickedness and harvested a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies— trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe.” Hosea 10:12-13 NLT
So first, let’s do some background:
Hosea was one of the early prophets of Israel and God used his marriage to illustrate how Israel’s worship toward pagan gods paralleled to the prostitution & betrayal of his wife, Gomer. The Israelites were in turmoil in their nation and were being threatened by hostile foreign nations. Desperate and scared, they turned to idols to save them from destruction, all the while turning away from God. Meanwhile, Hosea was married to a promiscuous woman who was intimate with other men which ultimately led to her being enslaved with harsh treatment. Hosea rescued her by finding her and paying her captors for her freedom & instructed her to never step out of their marriage covenant again and to devote herself to their marriage & family. Doesn’t that sound like a familiar story? (hint: Jesus going to the cross for us!)
Second, let’s define some words that are in the above scripture passage:
~Plow: To turn up the earth; break up in order to sow
~Sow: Plant seed by scattering on to the earth
~Righteousness: Quality of being morally right or justifiable
~Reap: Cut or gather
~Harvest: process or period of gathering crops
~Cultivate: Prepare land for crops; acquire or developed a skill, quality, or sentiment
Now that we have background and definitions let’s break it down:
Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.— By being morally right and putting that energy out in the world, you will get back a love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.— In planting, you have that top soil that’s hard and clay-like. It’s exposed to the elements such as the sun, rain, and wind. With those conditions what fruit can take root? Well spiritually, it’s the same. Life can and will harden our hearts. Maybe it’s a bad friendship or relationship or a lost job or financial hardship…but life can set resentment, depression, hurt, and even just apathy in our hearts. God is telling us to plow that up…break it up! Back to planting…once you break up that clay-like soil, soft and moist soil is revealed. THIS is the soil that is conducive to planting and growing crops…and as the Word puts it, a crop of love. So what can we take from this? Love will come once we have gotten down to the good soil of our hearts, that soft place where love can grow and thrive. At this point, scripture says that by seeking God, this is when He will be able to shower righteousness down on our good ‘soil.’ Y’all! He can only do this to soft and open hearts! This puts me in the mind of two scriptures: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17 NLT and “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 NIV. The passage in Psalms tells us the type of heart God will accept and the passage in Hebrews encourages us to tear away anything that hinders or entangles. Back to the planting illustration, I think of the weeds and debris that will come up when you are plowing up the ground…this is what you are doing to your heart…you are plowing up that resentment, that hurt, the deceit, the mistrust, all of your sins so God can come through & rain down that righteousness and grow that love you so desire. And side note, things will be revealed when you get to plowing stuff up. Just like those weeds and debris, the sin may not even be visible until you start plowing up the harden top layer of your heart. This is an cautionary tale because you yourself may not be aware of what’s going on inside unless you ARE seeking the Lord and you do that by getting in the Word. This puts me in the mind of the scripture Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Now, let that sink in.
But you have cultivated wickedness and harvested a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies— trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe.— So here’s the opposite that can happen. Wickedness develops and produces sin and not just any ole sin but a THRIVING CROP OF SIN!!! Who wants that?!! I sure don’t! And the icing on the cake is putting your trust in man that cannot save you instead of trusting in the one and only savior God (Psalm 146:3-10)
This is by far one of my favorite scriptures! I have often prayed this scripture over my life and in turn God has revealed things in my character that needed to be dealt with before I grew spiritually. I believe this scripture is a LIFE SCRIPTURE…something that will be in use my WHOLE life…a work in progress scripture if you will. Anywho, that’s all I got! What do you think about the passage? What is some unplowed ground that needs to be broken up in your life? Drop it below in the comments and I will pray for you as you pray for me…Deal? Catch ya later guys!