Fallow or Faithful
Breaking Up Fallow Ground
“Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
(Hosea 10:12, NKJV, emphasis added)
What is fallow ground?
Traditionally, farmers have preserved the arability of their acreage by rotating their crops and even allowing parcels of property to rest periodically. When a farmer’s field is given a year of rest, it is laid to fallow. This season of idleness gives the soil an opportunity to recover and replenish, making it more productive for planting the following year.
However, if land is left fallow too long, the earth may become crusty and hard and useless for agriculture. Unused land may require a significant amount of difficult labor to prepare it for fruitful service again.
What a picture of the spiritual life.
The Old Testament minor prophet Hosea accused the people of God of having fallow ground in their own hearts. Years of callous disregard for God and His Word had made them hard-hearted and unfruitful in the Lord’s work.
How may we face the same hard-hearted and unfruitful condition? Certainly, a brief time of fallowness can be a healthy thing. Doesn't the danger arise when we choose to wallow in being fallow?
What does it take to break up fallow hearts?
Have you ever watched a farmer or gardener, as he or she cultivated a plot of land for planting? Whether by tractor or hand tool, the land worker had to till the dirt, digging deep and disrupting the settled soil.
The Great Gardener performs a similar process in our own hearts, as we surrender to Him. The process can be painful, as He digs deeply within our hearts and turns us over to make us useful for His purposes.
Thanks be to God that He enfolds us in His great love and gentleness, even as He may break up crusty areas we have carried far too long. For His goal is our freedom and fruitfulness for His glory.
Will you pray with me?
You are the Holiest of Horticulturalists,
Plowing away the hardest regions
Of the human heart.
Till the soil of our souls.
Break up the boundaries
That keep us from You,
For we long to be fully Yours.
Bring Your fruit to bear
In our lives
For Your glory.